Creating Memorable Characters

1) Characters should serve as foils to one another. This provides conflict and distinguishes them as individuals. This is because characters are often defined by who they are not as well as who they are.

2) If you want your readers to empathize with your characters, they should be relatable to the audience. One such character, known as an ‘audience surrogate,’ knows about as much as the audience does. A prime example would be Watson from Sherlock Holmes stories.

3) Try observing how people act in social situations; sometimes it helps to base a character around a person you know. (But don’t make it apparent enough that they get offended.)

Likeable character traits: Beauty, courage, wit, cuteness, passion, patience, innocence, youth, nobility, leadership skills, empathy, and opposition of the immoral.

Disliked character traits: Flat or static characters, wish-fulfillment characters

Other character traits
Age/Date of Birth
Appearance
–Body Type
–Choice of Attire (Accessories/Piercings)
—Items/Weapons
–Eye Color
–Hair Color
–Hair Length
–Hairstyle
—Facial Hair
–Skin Color
–Three Sizes
–Height
–Weight
–Scars, Birthmarks, Calluses, Tattoos, Wrinkles
–Use of Cosmetics
Beliefs
Country of Origin
Economic Status
Ethnicity
Education
Fighting Style
Gender
–Gender Identity
History
Hobbies
Mannerisms
Marital Status
Medical Background (Illnesses, fractured bones, chemical imbalance, poor eyesight, etc)
Occupation
Personality
Phone Number
Preferences
–Desires/Dreams/Goals
–Dislikes
–Likes
—Fears/Phobias
Relation to Others
Religious/Spiritual Affiliation
Sexual Orientation
Scent
Social Security Number
Skills
Voice
–Diction
–Language(s) spoken
–Speed
–Type of laughter
–Unique catchphrases

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