The art of etching charismatic characters in the book

Gritty tips by
Kiran Manral on etching quirky characters. 
What makes an interesting character in a book, is it the quirkiness of the character, the uniqueness or is it that the character is someone the reader can relate to? The etching of a character is a very exciting process for a writer, because simply put, you get to play God. You can mold, out of nothing, a living breathing character to populate the pages of your book, to live out his or her life and to play a part, however important or unimportant in the telling of your story.Perhaps that is why they say be nice to an author, he or she can put you into a book and have nasty things happen to you.
Seriously though, creating a character for me is always a process that is fraught with much indecision because I agonize over the smallest things, how the character will look, dress, react, food choices, motivations, childhood, influences, reading habits, and every little thing that goes into making a person a person. The character has to be visible to me in my head, clear as a person I know in the real world. Often I cheat, I make a character from an amalgamation of various character traits of people I know in the real world, and that works well too. At others I sit down with a sheet of paper and make spirals of free brainstorming circuits about the character, background, character traits and when it falls together, there’s this Aha moment in my head, when I can see the character, warts and dimples and all in my mind.

Article Put together by Pendown Her breathing space for creative expression, and a wonderful collection of book reviews, product reviews and travelogues. A full time author in the making and a proud iMelonite !

In All Aboard, my favourite character without question is Rina Maasi, the feisty aunt of the protagonist. Find more about her on, or connect  @kiranmanral


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