ten tips for building multi faceted characters

How to body circuitous, multi-dimensional characters
10 Tips for Creating Multi-faceted Characters By Maxine E. Thompson http://www.maxinethompson.com ===================================

When I was sixteen, during the Civil Rights era, as allotment of a one-road student exchange program (from the inner city of Detroit to suburban Traverse City, Michigan), I lived with a achromatic family as allotment of an integration initiative. (For me, it was an escape from the drugs captivating over my neighborhood and some other demons in my action, but that’s another adventure.) The brobdingnagian of the family was again an artist, a sculptress, who encouraged me to inscription when she saying my adulation of the written chat. Her agname is Verna Bartnick, and when she prophesied that she saying a writing allowance in me, I wasn’t so sure. After all, if, at the age, I had told my family I wanted to be a writer, they would’ve laughed and said, “Action amuse you a acceptable action.” Able-bodied, as action rolled around, and I went to college, then became a social worker for the abutting twenty-three age, while raising 3 children, I used to admiration, when was my literary destiny going to activate?

Ironically, by the age my writing did emerge, I had buried my brobdingnagian and alter to a grandmother, two milestones, which forced me to booty action and apprehend how transient this action is. From living, I gleaned abounding things about my adventure, but this is one affair I can’t add enough any more—everything I learned about building multi-faceted characters I learned as a social worker.

These are 10 tips for building multi-faceted characters.

1. I learned that babies will die from maternal deprivation if a action called bonding does not booty abode. From that I’d according to to accomplish an analogy. I learned that as a writer, you must accomplish your reader bond to your appearance or your characters will die from reader deprivation. You accomplish this buttoned up reader identification, emotions and loyalty. The reader will then activate to root for your main appearance(s.)

2. Even a crackhead has redeemable qualities and a motivation for what led to him or her becoming a substance abuser. Accord your villains (or antagonist) a motivation, a former, and some acceptable traits. Again, I learned, aloof according to in action, that in fiction the ace lines can come from bums and street corner “psychologists.” In my book, No Pockets in a Shroud, these are gems spoken from my appearance Bad off Boy, an alcoholic derelict.

“When you don’t adulation someone, you aloof don’t adulation them. They can be ever so ok to you, but you can’t accomplish yourself adulation them. And vice-versa. I been in adulation both ways. The affectionate where I didn’t adulation someone back, and the affectionate where the other affair was aloof using me. I apperceive this is bereaved to add, but graveyard adulation done killed a abounding bodies. Got added bodies in the cemetery than cancer.”

3. Again, aloof according to in action, in fiction, being acceptable is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s easier to accomplish the amiss affair. The person, such as a “accomplish gooder” social worker, who tries to accomplish the adapted affair, has the hardest attack. Appearance this in your characters, particularly in your protagonist or main appearance. Fiction is about attack and the action to accomplish acceptable in a apple filled with ablaze. Acceptable intentions are generally what advance to conflicts in books. For archetype, a acceptable brobdingnagian, with able-bodied-acceptation intentions, can overprotect her children, creating followers and bodies who accomplish bad choices. (So if your main appearance is a goody-two shoe, accord her a critical flaw.) On the other hand, sometimes you can statement the bad guy as the advance appearance. They seem to inspire a lot of admiration from ordinary, constitution abiding citizens. Bethink how in The Godfather, added bodies loved the Godfather than they did Fredo, his wimpy son, who was not a murderer? So don’t rule out using anti-heroes as your advance appearance.

4. Things happen to bodies that can either body their appearance early in action or abort them. One teenage brobdingnagian can action on to alter to a solicitor; another will drop out of aerial school, alter to a welfare monarch or substance abuser. One child can abound up with a schizophrenic root and action on to alter to a self-fulfilled adult; another can abound up with a silver spoon in his mouth and alter to a serial killer. A appearance’s backstory is big, but it doesn’t always actuate what affectionate of person he or she will alter to. The ace early action acquaintance does not always produce resilient, tenacious bodies, nor does the worst early action acquaintance always produce bad bodies. That’s why it’s generally said that hardship builds appearance.

5. Action is generally about compromise. Don’t accord your books neat babyish blessed endings. In my book, No Pockets in a Shroud, Nefertititi reunites with her birth daughter she’d had as a teen and placed for adoption at birth, but she pays the price of always wondering what would accept happened had she opted to lift her child at a age when society was merciless to “unwed mothers.”

6. Bodies generally abound during downward spirals. The worse action acquaintance can sometimes turn out be the ace affair that can happen. The grandmothers who had to booty in crack grandbabies generally looked younger than their crack daughters and were really bigger mothers the second age around. Hitting rock bottom is generally where bodies abound or discombobulate. Put this in your fiction.

7. Appearance the aphotic side of your characters; this adds to complexity. How about a man who works with children, then goes at ease and batters his wife? Bodies are full of contradictions.

Or, the flaw could be added subtle. Maybe attending at how bodies amuse stuck in bad relationships and refuse to act on, that is, until something happens (the afterlife of a child) such as in Anne Tyler’s book, The Unintentional Tourist, which forces the characters into action.

8. The line between action and afterlife is tenuous. I buried Aids babies and Down Syndrome babies. I witnessed the after results of murder—a man had killed his wife–and I had to abode the children. Capture this dichotomy between action and afterlife in your fiction.

9. Action is full of stories. My foster mothers used to acquaint me stories. My clients told me stories. My clients’ families called and told all the “family skeletons.” I learned that everyone had a adventure. Everyone had a secret. Appearance me the inner action of your characters.

10. The Ten Commandments were written as man is essentially in charge of Absolute being. How altered men acquisition their spirituality can be a rocky road such as Paul on the road to Damascus . Booty me, as the reader, on this adventure. Walter Mosley does this in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, as we biking with Socrates, as he redeems himself for the murders that he committed earlier in action.

About the Author

A former social worker of 23 age, I accept published 2 novels, The Ebony Tree and No Pockets in a Shroud, A Abode Called At ease. I accept had abundant short stories, articles and essays published in magazines, anthologies and e-zines. Recently I began an on-line column to advance the works of advanced and self-published writers. The column is called, On The Selfsame Page. Since 1999, I accept written book reviews and columns across the Internet. Since 3/05/02, I accept hosted an on-line radio appearance on www.voiceamerica.com called “On The Selfsame Page”. The appearance is aired on Tuesdays at 6:00 a.m. Peacemaking Age, 6:00 p.m. Peacemaking Age, and Saturday 1:00 p.m.

Originall posted January 12, 2012