Life Coach Magazine

Getting to Know Your Main Character

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

FriendsWhy is it important to get to know your main character before you dive into your story? Because without knowing specific things about your character you won’t have a story.

When you first get a spark of an idea, you may not know anything about your main character except her name, and that’s okay. Maybe if you’re like me you have to write out the first couple of chapters to get to know your character and story, but once you do I suggest you go back and really work through her characterization.

Some people like to “interview their characters” and know all about their their favorite color, vacation spot, and food. Personally I think that’s overkill. When I write my main character there are 10 essential things I want to know about him or her. If you’ve listened to my Writers Publish! Podcast, then you know I like to use acronyms to help me remember craft and plotting techniques. And getting to know my main character is no different.

I like to think of my main character as my B.E.S.T. F.R.I.E.N.D. because I’ll be spending a whole lot of time with this person, just like a best friend. So think about your real life BFF. Why do you like to spend time with her? First and foremost, your character should be likable or at least relatable and sympathetic. Does she need to be perfect? No, what BFF is? In fact, she should have some negative qualities that cause her conflict on her journey.

Your BFF should also have a greatest dream or wish, and a fear that is opposite of the dream. Now that I’ve got you thinking, take a look at this handy dandy chart. Notice it spells B.E.S.T. F.R.I.E.N.D.

Who is Your B.E.S.T. F.R.I.E.N.D.?

Here’s a great way to get to know your B.E.S.T. F.R.I.E.N.D. and create a BFF you want to write about!!

Beliefs: What does your BFF believe? What is her core values? Family, love, money, power, justice?

Essence: Who is she? Nice, kind, helpful, compassionate. Remember to add some bad qualities like being stingy or bossy because no one is perfect!

Security: Where does she go or what does she do when she’s afraid? What makes her feel safe?

Talent: What is she good at? What are her skills that will help her reach her goal in the story?

Fears: What is her biggest fear? It’s usually opposite of her dream or goal. Somewhere in the story your BFF needs to face her worst fear!

Reshaped: What major event in her past reshaped her life and what she believes? What is the lie that has her stuck in life?

Individual: What makes her unique or different?

Eternity: How does she view God or faith?

Noble Quest: What purpose could make her leave her home (ordinary world?) What would she die for? Hint: Look at what she believes. She will fight for what she values!

Dreams: What is her dream? What is her goal? What does she want?

So now that you know your BFF, it’s time to write her story!

If you got something out of my characterization chart, I invite you to listen to the Writers Publish! Podcast on itunes and stitcher and subscribe to my newsletter. Also, look for my soon-to-be-released novel writing workbook entitled Release the Novel In You!

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For a limited time get my online writing course “Release the Novel in You!” for $50. 

Screen Shot Release the Writer in You Teachable
You have a novel inside of you. A dream to tell your story. But you don’t know where to start? Maybe you don’t even know what to write. Perfect! This course will release the novel in you, guaranteed. As your instructor, I commit to creating an environment where your voice can be released to tell the story only you can. I’ll provide the tools and motivation for you to make your writing dream come true. My guidance will inspire your voice to be released and the lectures will shape your ideas into a cohesive and impactful message. When you commit and do the work, you will release your story within and your book will become reality.

Everything you need to get started on writing your story is in this course. Don’t put your dream off another day.

 Gina

Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character
Getting Know Your Main Character

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