Today, I have a guest post with Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. All of us know about Alex’s super human powers and the way he zips around hundreds of blogs everyday leaving comments and helping his fellow blog buddies in numerous ways. In this post the Amazon Bestselling Author of four books: CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm and the latest – Dragon of the Stars, will share tips on building characters in stories.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Characters
Most writers tend to generate a lot of ideas for stories. Something triggers a concept or a basic plot. Maybe a place or image inspires a setting. Multiple thoughts of where a story could go start running through our heads. What if this happened? What if that happened? What if we threw in this plot twist?
In the midst of all this, we can’t forget what is important – the characters.
Now, some stories are more plot driven while others are more character driven. In either case, the characters still need to be fully developed. They need to be real to the reader or it won’t matter what happens in the story. This applies to both heroes and villains. But how do we make them real? How do we make the reader identify and connect with the characters?
Here are some of the things I consider when developing a character:
What is his history? What happened to him before the story even begins? Most of this will never end up in the story, but it helps to know a character’s humble beginnings.
How has this shaped him? What kind of person is he now? Both nurturing and trauma can really affect a person.
What are his goals in life? What drives this character? This is often a big factor in the story.
Knowing his past, what are his strengths and weaknesses? Where has he learned to excel? What part of him still needs work? Everyone is good at something and everyone has issues.
How does this character change? What is his character arc? Real people change over time, for better or worse. Whatever happens in the story will definitely change the character. Plan for it. How does he change over the course of the story?
My stories tend to be character driven. I have an idea of what will happen and usually the ending comes to me first. Then I want to know – how did the character get to that point? What adjustments and decisions did he make during the course of the story? It’s fun to work backwards and see how far a character has come from his raw beginnings.
What do you do to bring your characters to life?
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
Dancing Lemur Press, LLC http://www.dancinglemurpress.com/
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/
The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?
One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Stars-Alex-J-Cavanaugh-ebook/dp/B00S0DPUYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420814971&sr=1-1&keywords=dragon+of+the+stars
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-of-the-stars-alex-j-cavanaugh/1121069418?ean=2940046510720
Amazon print – http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Stars-Alex-j-Cavanaugh/dp/1939844061/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1427824785&sr=1-1
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.
Here is wishing Alex loads of luck from all of us.