Creating characters that stay with you, long after the book is closed or the final credits roll, is one of the challenges every writer faces. How do you go about creating a Darth Vader, Katniss, or Huckleberry Finn? What about Harry Potter, the Tin Man, or the Joker?
If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the wrong blog. I hate to disappoint, but I have yet to create such a character, so I am definitely not one to offer suggestions. What I do find intriguing is the connection (or revulsion) we feel to these characters. What is it about their personalities or idiosyncrasies that draw us to them, so heavily that they find a permanent place in our memories?
This year for Halloween, my husband and I dressed up for a party as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar. We studied up (yes, we are total dorks) by watching the movie, in costume, to get in character. We had their one-liners, their body language, their very essence nailed. Of course, I stayed in character the entire night of the party. I couldn’t help myself! With that hair?? I mean, c’mon!
I guess what I find so interesting, is that someone invents these imagined characters, which are embraced by actors (or readers ) who breath life into them. My question is: what makes a great character? Which characters stick in your mind? Why?
Maybe we can figure this out together…