Increasing Your Creativity/Characters

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Question
Hello!
I am a writer that hasnít published yet (i havenít even written the book haha) but i seem to have so many stories stuffed in my brain that they end up spilling out everywhere in everything i do. But thats not the question. my problem is that most of my lead characters seem to be very alike. They are strong willed, protective, powerful, very intelligent, leaders and I want to make them differ but i canít seem to get it to happen. Do you have any advice on what i should do, or how to fix this situation?

Thank You! : )

Answer
Hello Andrea:

It is quite all right if your lead characters share positive character traits such as you list. What you are lacking are two things.

1. Agenda. Strong-willed and intelligent leaders are bound to have different aims and goals that conflict -- if they don't, you don't have a story! The best stories are framed around intense, strong emotion that arises when two people are at loggerheads with each other. One wants the new highway built here, the other there. One person wants to be mayor, another wants the same thing. Both want the same woman or man. Be sure you give your characters different desires and goals.

2. Faults. Though your leads may share strong positive traits, each should have his/er own set of limitations. One may be rash and impulsive, while another may be slow and methodical. One may be a confirmed liar, while the other distrusts everybody's word. Googling "character traits"  should turn up plenty of faults to choose from.

Of course there are different degrees of these traits. Two characters may share power, but power may mean different things to each: one believes in delegating responsibility, another must micro-manage everything. Both may be intelligent, but one may use his gift peacefully and productively, while the other turns his to crime.

Be sure you have plenty of conflict between your characters and they will not seem the same any more.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 950 questions.

And thank you for writing!  

Increasing Your Creativity

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Susan Rand

Expertise

Questions about writing in general, creativity (how to make your writing totally YOU - unique as you are); how to make it stand out from the competition; how to spark your creative juices; how to make it flow; how to make your characters seem like real people; how to control emotion in the reader and much more! Please no homework questions.

Experience

I have been writing and teaching writing for several decades. I have written 5 books and several short stories. Over the years I have read and studied many books on "how to write." I can correct spelling and usage mistakes, and I know punctuation.

Education/Credentials
BA in the Humanities, with an emphasis on Written Communication, 1982

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