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One thing writers talk about often is how to make our characters realistic. How do we make our characters leap off the page, well-rounded, and unique?
How do you create someone like Hercule Poirot or Jack Ryan, Agent Pendergast or Hannibal Lecter?
While there is no formula or list to follow for creating memorable characters, here is something for you to consider:
Have one of your characters collect something. And give them a reason for doing so.
I think I first came across this on Deb Raney's website over a year ago.
This resonated with me because at various times in my life I've collected different things. Breyer Horses, Cherry Ames books, Memories of Yesterday figurines... My husband has collected baseball cards, coins, John Wayne movies...
When working on the character sketches recently, I remembered this little gem and decided to employ it.
In my current WIP, Stars in Her Eyes, my hero Silas collects and polishes rocks. His mother used to take him for walks along the shores of Lake Erie, and she used to pick up rocks and wonder about where they had come from, how they had arrived on the beach, and remind him how God created the world and that rock had been around since before the pyramids.
When Silas collects rocks, he remembers his mother, he remembers God is the Creator, Eternal, and Omniscient. He is reminded that God is big enough to take care of his problems, and that he is so small in comparison to God.
When I put this facet on his character, he gained depth and became more interesting to me.
Do you collect anything? have you ever had a character who collected something?