Writing Tips – Part 1

Writing Tips by JT Scott

Author of the Sammy Rambles series about a boy and his dragon.

This is a short series of writing tips which will feature each month and offer tips and advice on how to create a story. Part 1 covers how to come up with ideas for creating memorable characters.

Part 1 – Who is going to be in your story?

It’s said the best stories are the ones with believable and memorable characters. The characters may become your friends within the story and you root for them, willing them to complete their goal. You might laugh with them, cry with them, but above all, you remember them.

If you’re writing your own story but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to begin thinking about who might appear in your story and other characters are sure to appear along the way. These are some of the questions I asked myself when creating the Sammy Rambles books:

  • Is the main character going to be male or female?
  • Are they a man? A woman? A boy? A girl? An animal? A mythological or fantasy character?
  • What is their name? Is their name significant? Is their name based on something?
  • Are they old, young or middle aged?
  • What do they look like physically? What clothes do they wear?
  • What do they sound like – do they have an accent or a catchphrase?
  • Do they have any family? Brothers or sisters? What do their parents do?
  • Are they based on a real person? Or someone imaginary? Or a mixture of both?

In most stories, you will have one or more main characters who interact with background characters. In Sammy Rambles, Sammy is the protagonist or main character and he has both friends and enemies in the books which both help and hinder him throughout the series.

If you are creating multiple characters for your story, it can help to make notes, maybe even use a spreadsheet, to record the names, ages and physical attributes. This can be helpful to refer to when you need to recall a detail, perhaps about someone’s eye colour or where they live.

Next month, the writing tips will cover what will happen in your story and how to create a believable and memorable plot for your characters to interact.