[Way With Worlds appears at Seventh Sanctum and at MuseHack]
After spending last column talking about characters in continuity, in world building, it’s time to talk about creating characters themselves.
I held this off until talking about the role characters play because of all aspects of world building, Character creation is the one that can (and in my opinion, should) be the most complex. As noted, a character is in a way the summary of the setting, and in turn, extremely complicated. Because they’re complicated, a sense of where they fit is important.
Characters are your setting come to visible, relatable life. Or at least should be.
The problem in discussing “how to create” characters is the process itself is also unpredictable, personal, and unique for everyone – just as characters are unique. So I can’t give you a system or even a list of questions that’ll “do it for you.” In fact, I shouldn’t because we all do this differently.
What I can do is give a list of techniques i’ve used, I’ve encountered, and I’ve coached on to help you create characters. Some you’re doing. Some you aren’t. Some will work. Some won’t – but would work for someone else.
But you can find what works for you.
After all I said it wasn’t simple. People never are – and that’s what you’re creating.