Writers of fiction- how do you come up with more characters

April 6, 2008 9:54am CST
I've had an idea for a good character that I'd like to start a blog about and update weekly or so but I am stuck on just that one character, she has to interact with people so I need to invent them and make them believeable. How do you come up with other characters beside you main character?
3 people like this
11 responses
6 Apr 08
What a coincidence! I'm currently working on starting a fictional blog. I don't think it's going to work... for many reasons, but anyway... Do you write much fiction? I don't generally find coming up with other characters too difficult in 'ordinary' fiction. Just do the same as you normally would. For some, setting down a list of people that the character needs to interact with would work; several friends, a boss, a couple of 'enemies' etc. Focus on each one, give them a general personality, then create some 'quirks', something that will make them more 'real' and so more interesting. For me, developing characters happens just as I write them. I do a LOT of re-writes though, lol Can I ask; will you be informing your readers that your blog is fictional?
3 people like this
6 Apr 08
I haven't written fiction for a couple of years now I've just had this one idea that I think people would find interesting. I'm not going to tell people it's fiction but it's going to be told like a story so lots of people will catch on pretty quickly I think. I'm going to start it under a different name with another blog account and create a new technorati profile for it too so people don't know its me as I may also use the main character as a bit of an alter ego.
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• Philippines
8 Apr 08
Hi, I've also tried writing a fictional blog but haven't really started yet, I even have a discussion about this here on mylot. ( if you want I can pm you the link to my discussion) I agree that it's a good idea to base the character first on what the character needs. Does he need an enemy? Give him one but then try to explain why this guy is your character is his enemy what's his motivation? What motivated him to be so? In my experience getting started is the hard part but in time this\ese characters usually develop a life of their own. Good luck.
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9 Apr 08
lots of fictional blogs! lol Neh, post the link here. I've also got a topic going about whether or not an audience should be informed if a blog is fictional. I'd love your input. Nancyrowina has already posted (thanks!) Well, it;s discussion; 1462795
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@ElicBxn (59547)
• United States
6 Apr 08
Just write them. If you do they will become more real. Write about the more real ones and they will become even more real. So: you person talks about meeting "x" and they talked about "so & so" or they did something together You develop chracters as you meet them, don't worry too much about them, just give them depth and they will soon be as real as your first one.
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6 Apr 08
I've had some idea's for situations they get into so it should be quite easy to build them up once I get going, it just seems massive when you first start out.
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@ElicBxn (59547)
• United States
6 Apr 08
Try this, get a friend to kind of role play a bit. If you have an online friend you can talk about things with and see if you can figure out how different people might act.
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@zeraphina (116)
• India
6 Apr 08
when I am stuck with no ideas.. I take a break and free my mind for a day or two.. Then I will just refresh my memory about the main character and automatically I get new ideas regarding the other characters as if they were already present there.. just that I was blind to their presence.. This usually works for me..
2 people like this
6 Apr 08
Yes I have some idea's I just need to let them grow I suppose, I used a name generator to give one of them a name earlier that will help.
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@jakesmum (154)
• Australia
7 Apr 08
I've read a great idea for getting names - use the names of those morons who send out spam - they won't sue 'cos they're not meant to send spam anyway. There's some great non-anglo names I've read, which I might find tricky to come up with myself. Also, sometimes I open the phone book at random and take the first name I see.
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@wolfie34 (26894)
• United Kingdom
6 Apr 08
When I used to write fiction in my younger days I would base characters from people from my past, obviously I wouldn't give them the same names but I would change them about, depending on what sort of character they were, if I needed a bully in my story I would remember a name from my schooldays and base the character on them, it worked a treat, it was also therapeutic too because if something bad happened in the story then it would happen to the bully for example. I did lots of stories and found it great playing the creator as it were where you could make great things happen to some and horrid things to others. So a lot of my inspiration was from my past and that was how I come up with different characters, people who have appeared in your past make great characters for stories because you can picture them clearly in your head which makes it easy to describe them in the story!
6 Apr 08
The main character I have is based on me loosely but I don't want people to work out it's me so her friends are going to have be invented from scratch but some of the things that have happened to her are from my past.
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@SomeCowgirl (32277)
• United States
6 Apr 08
If I am stuck I usually turn to the internet. Look up character generators that will, if not give you a character, will atleast give you ideas for your own!
2 people like this
6 Apr 08
I'll have a look for one it will be really helpful actually just to get me started.
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• Philippines
28 Apr 08
The main character of my novel is one of my favorite names. So, I made it my "Main Character". The other characters are names of my friends or classmates. Sometimes, I invented the name especially the names of the demon and spirit characters.
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28 Apr 08
Yes a name is a good place to start it helps you build an image of the person you are trying to create.
• United States
7 Apr 08
It's rather easy for me, I make up my characters surrounding my plot rather than the main character. Then I do what you do in your blog, only on a worksheet. The minor characters just come into play as I write. If I do get stuck, I will look at pictures on the net to give me ideas, or look up names in the phone book. Just writing down some brainstorming ideas for about 15-20 minutes works too; as well as spending time freewriting. But building a plot around your main character is probably the best way to work in other characters, that way you know what/who you need to make the story work. Best of luck to you.
1 person likes this
7 Apr 08
I have the one character and have thought of a few idea's foe things that could happen to her, I intend to start the blog give some background info and then just write the rest as if I am person writing a blog and telling the readers about stuff that has happened to me that week. It will be interesting to see how it works out in the end. I haven't even started the blog yet as I want her to have a life story until that point and then carry on from there.
@jwfarrimond (4475)
7 Apr 08
An interesting discussion and I've read the other responses with interest, having written my own novel, so far unpublished. I found that the other characters appear as needed by the plot and the background and character of each person grows as needed to support the plot. It's the plot that forms the foundation of the story and that should indicate what supporting characters are needed and how they should act. as the story progresses you will find that other characters appear and sometimes seem to take on a life of there own so that a character who you intended to only take a minor role in the story, take over and become more important, generating a sub - plot that you had not originally thought of.
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7 Apr 08
I just came up with a really good idea for a character and am writing the story around that which is why I'm having such difficulty I think. When I've introduced the other characters it will get easier I'm sure.
@derek_a (10904)
7 Apr 08
When I write fiction, I first of all create a characters profile. I write down - date of birth (this gives an indication of what era the character was born in and can colour his view of the world). I state what school he went to and how he did there - did he go to university, or did he prove to be a drop out). What career did he choose and did it change. And what does he do now. It never failed to amaze me that as I described this character, as story seemed to automatically be born with him. :-)
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7 Apr 08
I'm doing something like this with my characters though I only write character traits for each character I don't go into so much detail, maybe more detail would help.
@Tavia007 (12)
• China
8 Apr 08
I like reading books. Some of time I make me up the one in them in my mind. I think if you want to formate a vivid character, you maybe become imaginational or have experienced life.
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• United States
6 Apr 08
Well one great way to come up with a character is from personal experience. If you've ever known/met someone with a memorable personality or something, then defeniatly use it! My dad is always talking about some of the people he meets at the hospital he works at =P lol. Some ery interesting people in real life you can look at. Another thing I do is just think of someone I would like to know, or like to be. Someone that you could really look up to. You know yourself well, right? =P What kind of person do you want to succeed....or kill off? lol And you can always use characters from other books as inspiration. If you read a book and there is a character you are particularly drawn to (a flat or round character) then use a piece of them in your own character! =) I hope I've helped you!! =)
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