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Question
Ok so the book i am writing involves alot of magical creatures ect and is called shadows just to give you an idea of the type of book ;)
I have a character that i am not sure on. His name is Lysias Darker (not sure about 2nd name though) i want him to be likeable at the start but eventually reveal his true colours as one of the bad guys. I need him to befriend my main character but i dont know how. i know he has to have black hair but thats about it... My main character (still thinking about this though) could fall in love with him and then have her heart broken. I just need some help developing this character furtherer please. Thankyou.

Oh and i have another character Draven Aontha who is going to be a middle aged headmaster at a school that teaches magic.

Answer
Sophie... well several people have asked me this question... in the last answer I listed two books.... this time I'll go into character development a bit more.


Thoughts on building a character.

Personality is one of the most critical components of building a character. It is what makes a character a “person.” Giving your characters their own individual personality makes them come alive.  It’s like focusing a blurring picture until it is crystal clear.  Only once it is clear are you able to see exactly who that person is.  Just as relationships and history make a person unique, so does their personality.  

A character’s looks, background and history can go a long way toward eventually defining that character’s personality. Or perhaps his/her personality played a major role in shaping his/her history or relationship with the character’s family or background.

Either way, you will need to know a little about your character’s background and family as you begin to define personality.

Is he an arrogant first child who expects to always have his way because
         he was the first son of a privileged family?

Is she expected to take care of all her younger brothers and sisters because
         she is the oldest daughter?

Is she the baby of the family who is used to be taken care of?

All these characters are going to develop unique personalities based on their history and their family.

Perhaps she basically raised herself, being shunted from relative to relative. Does that make her shy away from relationships now? Has it turned her into an independent loner who can’t stay anywhere for long?

Your character’s physical presence will also play a role in helping to define and shape his/her personality.  A beautiful woman, such as Scarlet O’Hara, is used to having her way and being able to getting men to do her bidding just because of her looks. That has gone a long way toward building her into a spoiled, selfish woman.

On the other hand, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast is hideous and feared because of his looks so he  has hidden himself away and built a solitary life shunning people.

The point here is that you must consider a character’s past, background and physical characteristics as you begin to develop their personality if you want to build a well-rounded character. To look at one without the other will leave you with a one or two dimensional character.  You want to construct a full fledged person!

  You don't need to know everything at this point in time, as your character will continue to develop.  Who they are on the "outside" is one of the easier areas to determine in building a character so it’s a good place to start. Once that is done, it’s time to move on.

Now we want to develop their "inner" personality.  Visible attributes such as physical strength or beauty or even a scar might play a role in determining your character's personality, but for the most part we will deal with the "inside" of the character.  However, if a scar has left an emotional inner wound this these could translate into a personality flaw that will affect the character throughout the story.

What are your character's secrets... and therefore his/her fears???

What are the goals the character has set for him/herself?

But this is enough to get you started.  Good luck... and check out the two books... Sue

Writing Books

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Sue Viders

Expertise

I can answer various questions about how to create characters for fiction writers.

Experience

Two published books, Heroes and Heroines, and Ten Steps to Creating a Memorable Character, plus years of teaching both on-site and on-line

Publications
Several national magazines...had monthly columns

Education/Credentials
BFA

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