Designing a unique, fictitious individual can be daunting. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of how-to writing guides for the aspiring fiction storyteller. Still, all of the hours spent researching how to create a strong fiction character will only promise one learned conclusion at the end of the day: there is no right or wrong way of doing it. That in itself can be frustrating for the "architect"-type writer.
Detailed character interviews can be arduous and tedious. This idea is purposed to design the skeleton of a character, then give them a will and moral code.
From there, the character should stand on his/her own and will lead you to who they are meant to be all on your own.
Taking a page from Jedi tradition, it is the balance of both sides that create harmony, so in practice, wouldn't a writer that is strong with the force be able to tread confidently between the two? I know. It's easier said than done. I've poured through many how-to books and guides myself, trying to find the secret answer in how to write a strong character arc.
From charts to arcs, and a number of character interviews you wouldn't believe, I've been able to simplify the process by breaking down my plot-driving characters in four straight-forward, yet strategic questions. Answering these core questions give you the inspiration jumpstart for filling the blanks within individual arcs while giving yourself a bird's eye view to start shaping the overall story arc.
Some say you must work on characters before plot; others prefer the opposite. But you? You're a Jedi master, so you hone in on both.
As I go through each question, I will be using a personal favorite character for illustration. Gil Pender from Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. If you haven't seen the film, it's alright! You'll get to know Gil as we walk through each point.
The Sound of the Seas
While writing for my characters and chapters in any of my fiction projects, I always look for an opportunity to create a musical mind-space for specific scenes or character moods.
It has always served as a great source of idea generation and general scene inspiration, while giving my readers a sneak-peek insight for the mood of the story.
Since this particular project follows the path of multiple leading characters, I thought a music playlist would be a great way at introducing them both individually and collectively.
History & Lore
How To Life
Letters From Elysium
Notes From Nassau
The Black Tide Chronicles