Topic: Character sheet for writing a story
July 19, 2019 / By Delaney Question:
She's actually just one of four main characters in my YA book series (it's going to be a regular coming of age type of series no paranormal stuff) but she's the only one who's storyline and character description that I sort of have down but tell me what you really think of her so far and what can change about her and also if she's too Mary-Sue since I don't want that:
Cassie is a high school senior who is a cheerleader and one of the most popular girls in school. She lives alone with her single mother who works hard to support them since her dad left them years ago. She's also an artist who exceeds in her art classes and has even sold paintings to several local museums. She mostly hangs out with her two best friends and her boyfriend, who her friends try to warn her about since they suspect he's cheating on her but she doesn't believe it and thinks that he truly loves her even though he treats her bad sometimes. She wants to become a professional artist and wants to go to art school when she graduates despite her mom wanting her to go to a regular four year college. She's usually very nice to everyone but however she is also kind of egotistical about her looks and her talent and can get vengeful when people cross her.
Brooklyn | 2 days ago
Cassie seems like a promising character that's brimming with potential. Here's my feedback of her, which I hope will be hopeful.
So, what we've seen of Cassie so far is mainly her traits (being likable and popular, being proud of her looks and abilities) and her strengths/skills (artistic and athletic prowess). So far so good, but this is just the first step of the many others to follow.
One of the hardest things for any writer to do is to give his or her character flaws and weakness, but especially if they're quite attached to that character. This is pure human nature; we're like that too with our relationships - if we're quite fond of a person, all we choose to focus on is their good attributes. I think that's why people often write one Mary Sue too many; they get too carried away and too focused that they end up writing someone who seems quite unbelievable and even intolerable.
Another reason why it is a challenge, I think, is because it's often hard for writers to think of flaws for their characters, let alone ones that match their overall personality. That's why you'll notice that sometimes there are just those occasional characters who do not make much sense because they have traits that just don't add up. For example, an avoidant person who knows how to socialize with other people.
With Cassie all of her traits seem to mesh nicely together, which is why I like her; she does have believable flaws and qualities that can redeem her as well. But now we go to your question: how do I develop her even further?
One effective way is to explore her traits. The obvious ones are pride in her abilities and beauty, vengeful (when crossed) tendencies, and a likeable/popular person. Let us consider her vengeful streak, which will rear it's ugly head only when betrayed in someway. A cold, collected and well tempered person is usually the least likely to show a lot of emotions, such as anger (where vengeance stems from) or hold a grudge (which usually influences vengeance). Therefore, perhaps Cassie can be somewhat moody, emotional or even temperamental at times? That's one direction you could take. Going into this even further, if Cassie is the type of person to seek revenge than she would most likely be the type of girl who could hardly forgive let alone forget when someone has hurt her.
One of my habits to absolutely analyze any item from head to toe. It was because of this trait that I enjoyed my philosophy, history and english classes the most because I enjoyed deeply exploring the texts we had to discuss.
So when I read your description of Cassie, I inferred some other characteristics that she may or may not have. For example, when you said she defends her boyfriend and gives him the benefit of a doubt (despite treating her badly) immediately I thought Cassie would be the type of person who chooses to see the good in people and tries to assume the best out of them, as opposed to the worst. This can be a strength of hers, for she would probably be that type of girl who would willing give a stranger a chance, even if s/he may have a seedy reputation. This can also be a shortcoming for several purposes: she can be naive, she can be easily duped, she can be hurt and disappointed...the list goes on. See how I'm going with this?
In short, the best thing to do would be to explore her characteristics so far and see where you can go with that. If it's an issue of writer's block and you're looking for inspiration, I would recommend looking at your other characters, exploring Cassie's relationships with the people in the story, and the major events that directly involve her. Lastly, I'd also look into character sheets and answer thought-provoking questions. This would be more like items that explore her psyche, such as "If Cassie had a super power, what would it be and why?" as opposed to questions such as, "What sort of voice does she have?" (unless it might be integral to the plot in someway).
Cassie seems like a great character, and I hope this post helps you (and others reading this) assistance. If you do have any questions you'd like to ask me, do drop me a line; I'm very helpful and friendly.
Originally Answered: What makes a main character a main character?
Why is the main character the main character?
--Because He/She is the main character, why else would that person be?
Like why does the story focus on that character than all the other characters in the story who may have the same or just as deep goals that he has?
--Because He/She is the main character, the story is mostly told from their POV (point of veiw)
How do you choose who should be the main character if you're writing a story?
--Just choose which character you would like to have all the events circulate around.
Can a story have two main characters that are both hero's?
--Of course!! It's fine! That just gives more POV's to go from!
Will one main character out hero the other or can they both be equally in justice?
--It's however you want to have the story do. If you want two good, you have it. Two bads, two bads. Or like most stories, 1 good, 1 bad, but I would say, mix it up, make it original!
Say if superman and batman starred in a show together as the lead characters.....who would be considered the main character if they are both main characters from their own shows?
--It's whoever you base the story around more.
Originally Answered: What makes a main character a main character?
A main character, especially in series, will be in the majority of shows and there part in the show will affect the storyline. There can be more than 1 main character.
If Batman and Superman starred together they would probably share the role as main character.
It sounds like a character some people could relate to. It sort of depends on who the other MC's are and what they are like. You don't want two characters to be incredibly similar, or the reader will get bored. This character sounds good, and sort of original too because often the popular girl is rich or isn't interested in art.
i don't think of that tis in basic terms applies to fantasy writers so i'm going to yet in with my sarcastic detective right here. Isaac is the main important character in basic terms because of the fact he's the single element that hyperlinks all of the different characters at the same time - with out him the story might crumble. he's likewise the only "important" character that i understand who gets each and all the single-liners. :) BQ a million: What variety do you detect the least exciting to verify? Nature/comedy that's greater like stand-up comedy than sarcasm/tongue-in-cheek BQ 4: in case you would be able to desire to erase one e book out of your reminiscence what might or not that is? in the lifeless of evening by potential of Mark Billingham - by no potential till now have I come for the duration of a worse e book, he won't be able to describe issues brilliantly so quite has a curse for another notice and says it brings "realism" into his writing - er not likely mate. BQ 7: once you write, do you quite would desire to write down in a similar atmosphere with a similar gadgets (laptop, bottle of water, submit-its, cookies) or not? i will write everywhere quite - on the prepare, on the bus, in the lonuge, in my learn etc. BQ 10: vast butterflies or miniature birds? Oooh gotta circulate with the birds
Originally Answered: B&A: How much of my main character should I map out before? +BQ's?
This depends on the story. Usually it is better to start out with some event that 'snares' the reader then gradually reveal the story of your main character. If you start out with "So and so was born in this town and has this color hair and that color eyes, blah blah blah" you can bore the reader and make them feel like they are reading a biography! If you tell too much about the character too soon there is nothing left to tell and you lose story and slow the pace.
For example, which is more interesting? "This boy is named Martin. He has brown hair and brown eyes and lives on 10th street. He has two best friends and they ride bikes together every day. Martin is a very friendly, cool person." OR "Martin rode his bike past his house on 10th street and waved hello to his friends. His brown eyes lit up with a friendly expression and his brown hair was messy from the wind." You probably see a big difference.
Reading the details AS the action unfolds is always more interesting. A reader does not have to know everything about the boy on the bike. The story can start out, "The boy rode his bike and..." rather than, "This boy looks like this, does this and blah blah blah and he is riding his bike down the street." With too much detail it could be 2-3 pages before your reader gets to the part with the boy on the bike! Mapping out your character too early can also mean people forget and have to re-read the beginning.
As far as your other questions: I only use pencil. I have really lousy handwriting and pen makes it even harder to read. If I need to edit or add, I erase and write it over. Also, when I get to the correction phase this is usually the point when I take the notebook and start translating it into a more readable version on the computer! I do have a set of purple writing pens that I sometimes use to write. This is not for correcting but more just because I like the color. Again though, I prefer pencil. It is easier to correct and never runs out of ink!
The font I use depends on the story. If I am writing science fiction stories I use a modern looking font. If I am writing a story that takes place in the past sometimes I use an "old" looking font to give it a more classic feel. If I am writing a diary entry or something that is supposed to be a letter, I use the cursive font. If I am not sure, I just use whatever basic font that is clear and easy to read. I ALSO use type that is a bit larger just to save my eyes.
As for your last question, LOTS of writers write about places they have never been or people they never met. Shakespeare wrote stories about people from Italy but he was from England. Supposedly he never even visited Italy but he wrote about it in great detail. He was like a lot of writers...he took a real place and added some fiction. Many of the towns like "Padua" were made up in his head and possibly never existed. He was a talented man with a lot of creativity...and he just happened to think that Italy was a cool place! So he wrote about it and added some fiction.
People write about all kinds of things that they don't have knowledge of. If you want to write a crime mystery, read up on forensics. If you want to write a story about Hollywood, read up on the history of it. If you want to write about London start learning all you can about it. Look at photos, maps and watch movies or documentaries. Also, chat with some people online who are from London. This can really help you learn about the culture. Best of luck! I hope this helps!