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How to Determine the Basics of Interesting Story Characters

When writing a story, there are various intrinsic elements that must be fulfilled, such as characters and characterization. These two elements must be built strongly because they are what will bring the story to life. Unfortunately, sometimes some authors or authors are too fixated on the plot but forget how the character development will be shown. It can make even an interesting story come alive and leave no impression on the reader.

Regarding characters and characterization, they are actually two different elements but cannot be separated. Characters are defined as individuals created by a writer. According to their presence, there are main and supporting characters. Then, based on their nature, they are divided into protagonist, antagonist and tritagonist. Meanwhile, characterization includes more complex things, namely how the author describes a character directly and indirectly. This depiction can be through the way they think, act, dialogue or also from other people's points of view.

This characterization is often the author's hard work. Because forming a complete personality that can give a unique impression to readers is not easy. This needs to be built solidly and of course makes sense.

So, even so, you don't need to worry about this characterization problem. Because there are several ways that can be used to build character characterization in a story. Read more in the following review.

Create Imaginations from the Physical Appearance of the Characters

The first way, describe the physical characteristics of the characters in your story. This will help readers imagine the character's appearance. You can do this by providing basic information, such as height, body shape, skin color, eye shape, hair condition, and so on.

The way to convey physical descriptions is not only through sentences that purely describe visuals. If you do it too much it will actually make your story seem stiff. Therefore, try to describe these physical characteristics flowing through figures of speech, other people's points of view, and also their personality. For example, in the novel Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, this is how Minke describes Annelies Mellema.

“And those eyes, those sparkling eyes were like a pair of morning lights; and his lips smiled to destroy faith. If this is the girl Suurhof meant, he is right: she not only rivals, but even surpasses the Queen.”

Complete the Character Profile

The author is the person who best understands the personality of the characters he creates. Therefore, in order to create a complete character, the writer needs to develop a character profile well. This profile includes gender, age, educational background, family conditions, living environment, occupation, and much more. This information is the starting point in forming character.

For example, characters who grow up and live in rural areas will certainly have different characters from those who are familiar with urban environments. Those who live in villages tend to adhere to the principles of living together, while in urban areas they tend to be individualistic. Likewise with age, this will determine a person's way of thinking. Of course, the way to solve problems among elementary school age children will be different from those in college. By considering this profile, it will make your character look alive and realistic.

Add Uniqueness to Characters

Even though you have to make your characters feel real, don't forget to still add uniqueness to them. This is needed to color your story so it doesn't get boring. For example, if you remember the figure of Mahar in the novel Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata, he is described as an eccentric child who really loves art. Wherever he goes, he always has a radio in his hand. He also usually looks for inspiration to compose songs by climbing a tree.

Characters Must Have Desires

When a character has a big desire, that's where great actions to make it happen will usually appear. The more complex the problems faced to achieve the goal will usually produce inspiration for the reader. For example, the figure of Park Saeroyi in the webtoon Itaewon Class.

Being imprisoned at a young age caused him to drop out of school, and even having to lose his father who was his role model, did not make his life just stop. He actually strengthened his determination to surpass the success of the person who had destroyed his life. Of course, in achieving this goal, Saeroyi's steps will not just be smooth. However, it was a meeting with another figure that opened up his path to success.

Forms of Relationships Between Characters

Creating relationships with other characters will make your story interesting. For example, you can display friendship, love, business or even hostile relationships. Create interactions that will help readers understand your character further.

So, to help you present these relationships, try making a diagram between characters. Place the main character in the center of the diagram. Then, create lines that connect with other characters. The closer the line, the stronger the relationship between them.

Actually, if you trace it as above, determining the basics of character is not too difficult. How actively we research a character, that's where various inspirations will come. This is as stated by the American writer, Stephen King, that "we don't have to wait for inspiration to come, we create it ourselves."

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