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Creating Memorable Characters

October 5, 2012

I was exercising in the gym the other day, when I noticed a really noisy guy getting ready to bench press a barbell with two 45 pound plates on each side (if you’re not sure, that’s pretty heavy).

Being impressed by the weight, and unable to ignore his persistent raving, I observed while his friend helped him do 4 reps.

But then something strange happened after he allowed the barbell to slam back into the rest position (since that’s how real men rack weights). He tilted his head back and made a sound like a crow.

That’s right. If I had to describe it, it was something like CAW… CAW… CAW…

…in the gym.

His friend laughed, some people ignored, I guess the ladies thought what a sexy guy he was, but I, on the other hand, always looking out for a story, was intrigued.

There was a time I would have thought, what the hell, but now I thought, what a great character.

I could really use someone like him in one of my future stories. Tall, well built, dark skin, head completely shaved. Every word was almost a bellow. When making a point among friends, he would either slap you on your back or hit you on your shoulder. He would CAW like a crow whenever he laughed or felt accomplished. What seemed life threatening to you would be a mere game to him, and he would play these games with you often. While he acted insane, he was well aware of everything happening around him. This was someone you wouldn’t want to mess with.

We all have encountered them: the annoying guy at the office, the arrogant girl at class, or the obnoxious guy at the social gathering. Whatever the case, instead of getting irritated or snobbish, observe their actions and use them as the foundation for unforgettable characters in great stories.

These are the guys that readers walk away remembering, and bring to mind years in the future.

And it also makes them more tolerable in real life.

So have you ever encountered someone that you just couldn’t handle? Think they would make a great character? Let me know in your comments. And don’t forget to check out this month’s trailer of King Larsen

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From → Writing Tips

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