The StoryTellers Journey: Chapter 3 (Part C – Realism)

Finishing following the instruction, I turned back and clicked the last of the three: realism.

‘Realism, in terms of characters, is the idea of making character three dimensional. To put it simply, it is making your character believable by giving your character complexity throughout your story, which emphasizes their important role. Your main character should not be a one-dimensional one, lacking depth and emotion. This will not make the story one of reading, for many, as it will not hold real value or entertainment for the reader.

To do this there are some things you should think about. Here are some questions previous storytellers advise to think about:

  • What is your characters past, present, and future?

Remember when writing these, that events of the past will also affect the present, as the present will effect the future. For example, if someone was to have been in an accident during their childhood, they may develop distress in a car during their present. This is important as the past affects who were are in the present, as it will do in our character. If something is just randomly inserted in the story but has no effect or cause it seems pointless and not needed, decreasing believability and disturbing the flow of the story. For example, a character having a near death experience, yet once it was over nothing changes in the story or characters behavior. There is just no growth in the character and your audience knows there should have been a change there.

  • What events influence your character being?

Remember here, that each and every event affects your character, each experience bringing with it a lesson, will its loss, gain, and observation.

Also, if you have multiple main characters, not each and every one of your character will react the same to a singular event. This is because everyone experiences things differently, no one outtake of a situation is the same.

Additionally, it is important to note that your character will not be the same entirely, at the end of the story, as they are at the beginning of the story. They should and will experience a change, and it’s your job to write it down.

  • If you were in such a situation of your character, how would you react to a situation or event?

This is, of course, done keeping in mind the experiences, values, and beliefs of your character. But it is simply putting yourself in your characters shoes and thinking what you would do.

Along with thinking of these questions, it is important to note that observation and research is a key aspect here. Many storytellers have said the best way for them to create characters realistically is through real life people. Some will remain, observers of behaviors of people, taking their observation and creating a character with these realistic behaviors. Others may make their characters reflections of people around them, though they will not always stay this way throughout the story, with the writer often letting the character drift off and become their own being. This is not a bad thing, as we are all characters of our own stories, though it’s important to remember the character goes through other experiences, which we may not in real life, that may also affect the way they behave as well.’

come back next week for the next chapter in the StoryTellers Journey  (^_^)


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