Saturday, January 21, 2012

Creating a Unique Character

Hi, just a brief post about something that has been on my mind recently, namely how to create a unique character. If you are a writer of fiction you will usually set about writing a short story or novel when you are inspired by a particular idea. Generally this will be a story that you are passionate about, featuring characters and events that you feel will grab the reader's attention and stay with them long after they have finished reading. While the majority of writers may feel this way about their work, how many books of this kind are actually penned? And more to the point, how many unique and memorable characters has literature actually given us?

By my definition, a unique, memorable and original character is one who leaves a lasting impression on the mind. He or she is a character possessing a set of distinct and prominent character traits, who is instantly recognizable from the briefest description. In literature there is an extensive list of these characters, who have become so integrated into our culture that they are even recognisable to those who have not read the original works. Examples include James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Lisbeth Salander and Long John Silver, to name but a few.

Ian Fleming's James Bond
If I removed the text, most of us would still recongise the character.