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Research your background material. This can help you expand your characters’ depth in their jobs, home life, and personal likes and dislikes.
Create and know your characters. John Ames suggests a character notebook for the major ones, so you know intuitively how they would react in any situation. Ames says, “Your notebook should list the character’s traits, likes and dislikes, overwhelming passions in life, and of course the fatal bete noire which the character must overcome to grow.”
Hank Sears’ advice is, “You have to know your characters somewhat better than you know yourself. Know the date of birth, education, physical characteristics—the works. Write family trees. Then file it all away for reference in case you forget a character’s age or eye color.”
Barnaby Conrad says, “Making the reader like or dislike the character is generally half the battle.”
Ayn Rand, who continues to have a best selling novel worldwide, Atlas Shrugged, many years after her death, wrote, “All writers have to rely on inspiration. But you have to know where it comes from, why it happens, and how to make it happen to you.”
We suggest reading “Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types,” by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. It goes into 16 personality types bases on Jung, Myers and Briggs. It will provide incredible insight into what makes people tick and is an easy read.
Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill
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