Tag: character evolution

How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps

How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps

Characters are the engine of every story.

Quite often, indeed, they live longer than the story itself. How many of you happened to remember perfectly the characters of a novel read many years ago and not remember the plot at all?

Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

For this reason, it is very important to understand how to master character creation: here’s how to do it in 7 easy steps.

Step 1: download bibisco, your character creation program

Since the creation of the characters is essential, it’s necessary to have the right program that will help you in this task.

bibisco is a novel writing software focused on character creation.

Our vision is that characters are the driving force of any novel. So bibisco is packed with tools designed specifically for character creation.

bibisco is a desktop application for Linux, Mac, Windows. It’s available in 14 languages: Czech, Dutch, French, German, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (for both Brazil and Portugal), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Turkish.

You can download bibisco from the official website: https://bibisco.com.

Step 2: create your project

Once bibisco is installed, it’s time to create your project.

Choose the title (you can always change it later), register yourself as the author, select the language and you are ready to go!

create a project in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
create a project in bibisco

Step 3: create your first character

It’s time to create your first character!

bibisco divides the characters into two groups: the main characters and the secondary characters.

characters' section in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
characters’ section in bibisco

Each main character has a conflict, the driving force of the story. Secondary characters instead don’t have a conflict, but they are useful for the development of the story.

In this tutorial we focus on the creation of the main characters: let’s create the first one by assigning it a name.

Step 4: get to know the character in depth

This is certainly the most important step.

All the great characters in the stories have one thing in common: they are believable.

Characters who are either completely good or completely bad are stereotypes and therefore not believable.

What makes a positive character interesting and believable is discovering their dark side. What makes us empathetic with an evil character is knowing that before they became who they is, they was a sweet and generous person.

So, how then can we create interesting characters? Knowing them thoroughly, so that it emerges their human nature, with strengths, weaknesses, contradictions.


bibisco offers an innovative, simple and fun way to get to know the characters: by interviewing them!

Character's interview in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Character’s interview in bibisco

Through 138 questions divided into 6 sections (personal data, physical features, behaviors and attitudes, psychology, ideas and passions, sociology) we can know everything about our characters.

Main character's section in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Main character’s section in bibisco

It’s also possible to enrich the knowledge of a character by associating images with it. One of the images can be selected as profile picture.

The associated images and the profile picture can be used as a source of inspiration while building the character or later when writing the story.

Character's images visible while writing in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Character’s images visible while writing in bibisco

Step 5: get to know the story of the character before the story’s beginning

The way of being of each of us, in every moment of our life, is determined by our character and by the experiences we have lived up to that moment.

For this reason, bibisco provides two tools for knowing the character’s life before the story begins.

The first tool is a dedicated section in which to describe the childhood, adolescence, school and professional life of a character up to the moment of the beginning of the story.

The second tool is a section in which to indicate the significant events of the character’s life, with dates and descriptions.

Character's event section in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Character’s event section in bibisco

The events indicated in this section will then be merged into the novel’s general timeline.

Step 6: define the conflict of the character

As we discussed in detail in a previous post: no conflict, no novel!

Every main character has a conflict: a dream to be realized, a reaction to an external event, an inner need.

The conflict leads the character to action and thus to start the story.

bibisco has a dedicated section in which to describe the character’s conflict.

Character's conflict section in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Character’s conflict section in bibisco

Step 7: define the evolution of the characters

Every story is the story of a change in the condition of things and the evolution of the characters during this process.

And the evolution of the characters is the most interesting aspect because it’s what excites, inspires or upsets us. It’s what we’ll remember when we forget the plot.

As discussed in a previous post, every author should always ask himself: can my readers see themselves in my characters?

bibisco has a dedicated section in which to describe the character’s evolution during the story.

Character's evolution section in bibisco
How to Master Character Creation in 7 Simple Steps
Character’s evolution section in bibisco

Conclusion

This is how to master character creation in 7 Simple Steps.

Now it’s your turn! Download bibisco now and start creating characters your readers won’t forget.

Why if your characters don’t evolve your novel is useless

Why if your characters don’t evolve your novel is useless

If you’re writing a novel, you’ll understand the most important aspect is the characters. And ensuring those characters keep people interested while they’re reading is vital. If your characters are doing the same thing, day in and day out, people are going to get bored quickly. This is why the evolution of characters in your writing is essential.

Think about those novels that you remember that you may have read 20 years ago. Why do you remember them? It’s the characters. And most likely, it’s because those characters underwent some sort of physical, emotional or psychological transformation. (Take a look at The Hero with a Thousand Faces of Joseph Campbell).

So, why if your characters don’t evolve your novel is useless?

The fact is, everyone changes

If you want people reading your book to relate to the characters, you want them to be as realistic as possible. Our lives are never mundane, and there’s no such thing as ordinary. Almost every year of our lives is filled with some type of change, and for some of us, it’s every month or week.

Couples, for example, meet for the first time, they start dating, get engaged and then married, they have children, then grandchildren – they may even get divorced. It’s a natural progression of life. Not only that, but we change jobs, we travel, and we do things in our lives that are significant. You want your characters to embody all of this as well.

So, what is change?

And how can you incorporate this into your characters? Change is anything that happens in life that is outside the “norm”. You can get up every day at the same time, shower, eat breakfast, get in the car or catch a train, and go to work at the same job you’ve been at for 10 years, doing the same job you’ve always done. That’s the norm.

But if you catch a train and all of sudden, you trip and fall and break your hand – that’s change. If you get to work and they’re holding a party for you because you’ve been promoted, that’s change.

How to plot change

You want to make the change believable and relatable to your character.

If your story is about a poor farmer girl in the 1800s who falls in love with a rich city boy, she probably shouldn’t grow fairy wings all of a sudden. Unless of course, that’s what your novel is all about.

But change for your characters should evolve slowly throughout the book. It’s best if you write down all the character changes before you start your novel – it will make more sense when you’re writing. Set the scene for each chapter and set expectations for what might happen.

Once you have the character features set, it’s time to shake it up a bit. Which part of the story could do with a bit more excitement? And how are you going to introduce that?

For example, you have a story about two young lovers in the 1900s, on a farm, and they’re standing having a conversation about the weather. Suddenly, a storm hits and floods the property, and the boy gets washed away. This changes everything (and opens the path for a pretty good story).

Use your own experiences

We understand why if your characters don’t evolve your novel is useless.

The best, and easiest, way to draw on change for your characters is to think about your own experiences or fears. For a simple example – if you’re afraid of spiders, your character could be also – and they could come face to face with a huge spider as part of the storyline. Think about what makes you tick and what impacted you when you were growing up – and use it as part of your character’s storyline.

Remember, you want the characters in your novel to be remembered forever. This means they need to create a psychological and emotional connection to the reader. By evolving, the characters in your story are more relatable – in life, we all evolve.

If you need help to do this, bibisco is a novel writing software that helps to turn your good ideas into a fantastic novel.

Why if your characters don't evolve your novel is useless. - bibisco architecture - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco architecture section

It can help you to create your characters and define where they’re headed within the story. Try it yourself today.