I’ve come to the conclusion that the easiest way to create believable characters is to figure out what their “thing” is.
What is a “thing” you ask? Whenever I meet someone new, I ask them what their “thing” is and the conversation invariably goes like this:
Me: So what’s your thing?
Them: My thing?
Me: Yeah, what do you like to do in your spare time? What are you good at? What can’t you live without? A thing is what you do in your spare time and get no real reward from aside from personal enjoyment.
For example. My “thing” is writing… obviously. Writing and reading and if you like both of those things then we’ll probably get along like a house on fire.
My boyfriend’s “thing” is fishing. Fishing and camping and watching sport with his mates.
Usually when I’m struggling with a character, it’s because I haven’t figured out what their “thing” is. I haven’t decided what activity they always deviate back to, what they spend a lot of time thinking about or aspiring to.
As a side note… you would not believe how many people I have spoken to who tell me they don’t have a “thing”. Which is fine, I suppose, but how awesome are people when they have something they’re passionate about! SO AWESOME.
So on that note, I have two questions.
1. What is your thing?
2. What is your main characters thing?
My main character in Chemicals Collide is seventeen-year-old Sara and her thing is the outdoors. She loves hiking, going to he park, walking her dogs. That’s her thing. Get her outside and she’s happy.
If you need me I’ll be at Camp Nanowrimo!
On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.