It’s week three of NaNoWriMo, and that means but one thing. It’s over halfway done. How’s your book turning out? Are you tired of your characters? Do you want them all to die a horrible death? One of mine is about to do that to be honest, but that was planned out, so it doesn’t count. How can one write a book without wanting everyone in it to just up and die? What’s the point? All the characters are the same. They don’t seem to pick up any endearing traits. What’s wrong with us? How can anyone write when people are all the same? Simple. There’s a recipe for a good character, and I just so happen to know it by heart.
First you take your character and grab an official awesome character flavour packet. They’re cheap I promise. Sprinkle the contents on top of your character. With flavour did you choose? What? Don’t you have awesome character flavour packets? No? Nobody does, but there is a way to give your character flavour. It’s a very simple process.
Here’s what you really do. Take your character and give them a personality that is distinct for them. Have a great hero who’s supposed to defeat the evil king? Why don’t you make him a fool who used to be a loyal follower until he was that the king was evil? That way, he’ll have conflicting emotions when he faces the man he used to idolize. It’s something as simple as that. Give your characters character. Make them different. Don’t give them an easy time. Make them suffer.
Lets take Harry Potter into account. Was Harry perfect? Did he have everything come to him easily? Did all of the girls want to go out with the “Chosen One”? Did Harry get away with anything? No. Harry’s life sucked. He lost people important to him. He didn’t get a girlfriend he liked until book six, and he got in trouble in almost every book. Outside of Hogwarts, Harry’s family hated him. They wanted nothing to do with him or the world that he belonged in. Harry even went to court when he saved his cousin’s life. It’s things like that that make a good character. Harry is a full on flavour character.
Now go think about your own characters. Are they full on flavour characters? If so, that’s great. Keep working on them. If not, then work on them. Try to make them better. Make their lives harder. Make sure that they don’t get everything they want, and for heaven’s sake, don’t make them perfect.