Tag: believable characters

The life of your characters before the story’s beginning

The life of your characters before the story’s beginning

“When Martina first noticed Paolo walking down the pavement, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Never in her imagination, she thought about meeting Paolo in such an ordinary circumstance.”

Let’s say it is the beginning of a story. What is Martina going to do next? Aren’t Martina’s past encounters with Paolo would shape her behaviors today?

It surely would because the way all of us humans live the day is the result of our way of being and of our experiences right up to that point.

That’s why backstory is so important for your characters, for them to be humans.

The backstory is what happened to your character before the story began

Getting back to our story, who is this Martina? How old is she? How does she know Paolo? Are they friendly to each other? How does Martina greet someone?

These little details may or may not feature in your story.

But whatever happened to your characters for them to come to this opening point of your story is what an author should find out in the character’s backstory.

It’s the personal history of your characters, a fundamental step in the process of character development.

It is a great tool for the author, as it can hugely benefit in understanding your characters – their fears, inner and outer lives, motivations, etc.

Backstory impacts a character’s behavior and adds depth to the story

Whether it happened yesterday or a long time ago, different events shape a person’s life, and thus, could be included in your character’s backstory.

The richer the character’s backgrounds are, the more depth you would get into your story.

These details would also help you differentiate one character from the other with distinctive actions and dialogues.

Your responsibility as a writer is to give the characters’ human forms and personalities by pulling out significant details from their life history.

Some of these important life events could be:

  • The time, date, and place of birth.
  • Family orientations and the relationships with each other.
  • Personality type, skills and talents.
  • Educational background, profession, passion and hobbies.
  • Current and past relationship status.
  • Political affiliation, spiritual life, life views and goals.
  • Anger triggers, goals, joys, fears, etc.
  • Friends and acquaintances.
  • Biggest failures, successes, tragedies.

So, immerse yourself into your characters and fill their lives with incidents and events. Let your imagination flow and visualize their childhood, their love life, their biggest support and such in the context of your story.

For example, if you know the relationship between Martina and Paolo; you would be able to design how they speak or respond to each other authentically.

It doesn’t matter if in your novel will be shown only one day of the life of our characters: the way they will live that day, every single gesture, will be the result of their way of being and experiences lived before the story’s beginning.

You can utilize novel writing software to create rich backstories

Sketching out the life of your character can easily get a little complicated due to the amount of information you could get. Considering that bibisco, our advanced novel writing software, comes with a fully-featured character’s dashboard.

The life of your characters before the story's beginning - bibisco character's dashboard
bibisco character’s dashboard

With elaborate questionnaires regarding the character’s personal data, physical features, behaviors, attitudes, psychology, conflict, evolution, and so on; it challenges the author to think all the minutest details of the character’s life.

The life of your characters before the story's beginning - bibisco character's interview
bibisco character’s interview

Intuitive, playful and easily accessible, bibisco keeps the authors motivated and interested to know more and more about their character’s life.

Conclusion

The importance of creating the life of your characters before the story’s beginning can’t be stressed enough. It makes them multi-dimensional, and in turn, makes the story memorable.

As bibisco comes featured with the most detailed dashboard to spell out the backstories of a character, it is now simpler than ever to add depth to your novels.

Are your characters people or stereotypes?

Are your characters people or stereotypes?

Harry Potter, Tom Sawyer, Princess Leia, Romeo and Juliet.

If you are an aspiring writer or an avid reader, you know the abovementioned names aren’t of any ordinary people. They are the protagonists, the main characters of some of the greatest novels of all time.

See, how swiftly you recognized them! As if they were your best companions for a long time. And trust me, they were.

Characters are key to a memorable story

When we read a story or a novel, oftentimes, it’s the characters that we remember the most; not the plot or the conflict. After all, it’s the characters that make a story humane; taking us on a dreamlike journey with their merits, contradictions, flaws, etc.

As a result, if you are writing a novel, the success of it is not going to depend on which novel writing software you are using. But it is certainly going to depend largely on the believability of your characters.

The more humane and real they are with both the perfections and the flaws; the more chance they have got to be genuine and to rise above the generic stereotypes.

Give your characters a unique life of their own

To avoid falling into the trap of stereotypes, the most practical way for writers is to begin with giving characters a life of their own.

Where they were born? How old are they? How do they look like? How educated are they? Asking all these questions would gradually give your characters a basic structure.

However, it may also make your characters feel very generic. I mean, you don’t remember Harry Potter just because of how he looked like or where he was born, do you?

Help your characters surprise you

As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naive and simple-hearted than we supposed. And we ourselves are, too.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

People are not as simple and straightforward as non-living things. We are a delicate mix of good and bad, novelty and flaws, selfishness and selflessness, sensitivity and insensitivity, and so on at the same time.

So, your characters shouldn’t be all perfect and rigid. Rather, they should be as surprising and multi-dimensional as the real people.

Utilize a novel writing software like bibisco

bibisco – an innovative novel writing software – offers an exciting feature to dive deep into the complexity of human nature, helping you to create your characters as people and not as stereotypes.

With a set of difficult questions, bibisco guides you to find out information about your characters that don’t easily meet the eyes.

Are your characters people or stereotypes? - bibisco character's dashboard
bibisco character’s dashboard

For example, it’s easy to answer whether your character is brave or not. But it’s certainly not easy to answer how is the relationship with their father? Or how do they react to successes and failures? By asking a series of such questions, bibisco would force you to think elaborately about your characters and go beyond the realm of your novel.

Are your characters people or stereotypes? - bibisco character's interview
bibisco character’s interview

Eventually, these thoughts and imaginations would shape the ways your characters would be behaving in the particular instances of your story, making them real and not just a stereotype.

Conclusion

While there is no story without conflicts, there is no conflict that the readers would actually care about without real and believable characters. So, make sure your characters represent actual people with all the complexity before giving them challenges to solve.

A novel writing software like bibisco can surely benefit in creating multi-dimensional, humane characters; thanks to its brilliant character development features consisting of a set of difficult questions.

Are you ready to create your characters as people and not as stereotypes? Try out the feature now and let us know how exciting your experience was in the comments!

Are you worthy of the trust of your readers?

Are you worthy of the trust of your readers?

Right now the number of books available is immense.

Through libraries and bookstores, both physical and online, every reader can access almost every book that has ever been written.

So, today more than ever, the reader by starting to read our novel takes an act of trust.

And as writers we have to ask ourselves a question: am I worthy of the trust of my readers?

The principle of suspension of disbelief

To try to answer this fundamental question, let’s introduce the principle of suspension of disbelief.

The principle was introduced by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the fourteenth chapter of his Biographia Literaria, published in 1817.

Are you worthy of the trust of your readers? To try to answer this fundamental question, let's introduce the principle of suspension of disbelief.
Peter Vandyke – http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/I/coleridg.jpg, held at the National Portrait Gallery

The principle of suspension of disbelief is a tacit agreement between the reader and the writer in which the reader agrees to suspend his own critical sense and trust the writer’s words while being perfectly aware that it’s fiction.

The principle of suspension of disbelief allows the reader to enjoy the story.

During the reading, the reader doesn’t ask himself questions and, as soon as he closes the book or he turns off his e-reader, the magic stops and the reader returns to reality.

A question of trust

As Coleridge wrote, starting to read a novel, the reader trusts the writer.

And the writer shall act to deserve that trust, otherwise, the reader will stop the reading of the story.

So, how will the writer prove himself worthy of the trust of his readers?

It’s quite simple: the writer must tell a believable story.

And since every story starts from the conflict of characters, a believable story must start from believable characters.

Believable characters

Characters that are completely good or completely evil are stereotypes and therefore are not believable.

Characters are believable when you can understand the complexity of their human nature: qualities, defects, contradictions.

So, how can we create believable characters?

The only way is to know everything about them.

Physical aspect, behavior, psychology, sociology, ideas, passions, their life before the beginning of the novel.

It doesn’t matter if in our novel will be shown even one day of the life of our characters: the way they will live that day, every single gesture, will be the result of their way of being and experiences lived until the day before.

Interview your characters!

bibisco is a novel writing software that can really help you to know your characters.

In order to do this, bibisco proposes a funny and unusual method to know them: an interview!

bibisco proposes a funny and unusual method to know your characters: an interview!
bibisco character’s interview

Every aspect to know about a character has a dedicated card and for each aspect a series of questions.

In bibisco every aspect to know about a character has a dedicated card and for each aspect a series of questions.
bibisco character’s dashboard

The characters’ interview is one of the bibisco features that writers appreciate the most.

They say that question after question the characters take shape and become real.

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.

William Faulkner

Conclusion

By starting to read our novel, readers decide they trust us.

To be worthy of this trust we have to create a believable story based upon believable characters.

The only way to create believable characters is by knowing everything about them. Using bibisco characters’ interviews we can do it in an effective and funny way.