Creating Unique Characters

September 8, 2011

What makes an individual unique? One aspect is how they view the world. Even if you are putting a character in an exotic setting, why not have them do something unexpected?

For instance if your novel takes place in Paris, rather than send them out to explore the Louvre, have them do something lesser touristy like go on a tour of the Paris sewer. Or if the character does visit a renowned location, have their perspective reveal their morals or even be symbolic of the plot. A protagonist might climb the tower of Notre Dame and observe how one of the gargoyles appears to be about to consume a modern building. This could be poignant if the theme of this book centers around a conflict of following tradition versus progressive attitudes.

Even the simplest details can add value. If you character is traveling by train across the countryside, they could notice all the cattle are white or how the dilapidated state of the farmsteads reflect the economy. What is noteworthy to the character is a reflection of who they are and what they stand for. Such details will add depth to your story or novel and make your character feel real.