"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
Most stories begin with a character, that one person in your head that whispers I have a story to tell and you must write it down.
If you ask an author if any of their characters have a bit of themselves in them, you would find the author naming every character and telling you at least one minor thing they have in common. And that's a good thing. When you write for a character, you want them to have at least one minor detail that you both share, such as the same temper or attitude. It not only makes it easier to write for that character but it also it also makes it easier for you to create a bond with that character.
Now, I'm pretty sure you've heard of Mary Sues/Gary Stu (for boys). If you haven't, these are 'perfect' characters, or so the writer thinks. You want to avoid Mary Sues. No one wants to read about a character that has everything. In fact, you may like a character better than others. If you do, then you must make their life as miserable as possible in order for them to not appear as a Mary Sue.
Cliché characters are similar to Mary Sues/Gary Stu but there are differences. Orphans are the most cliché, but you can still use them. When dealing with orphans, you don't want to make them look defenseless. Pain can either strength you or tear you down, whichever you give in to. And even if it strengthens, there are always the weak points, the one thing or things that send your character's fears crashing around them. Also don't use stereotypical characters, such as blonde girls being stupid. I could name every cliché character trait alive but that would take too much time.
Now, even though I told you to avoid clichés, sometimes the fact of avoiding them can be cliché, if that makes any sense. So what I say must be taken as a suggestion and nothing more.
Time for the fun part, the description of a character.
I think the description of eyes is always fun to read. Like the saying, the eyes are the entryway to the soul; I believe a good description of the eyes can tell the reader a bit about the character's personality. I'll go through every color and tell you the meaning and how you can use that to describe the personality.
Black: This color I would save for a character that's not human. But it can be used for people. Black could mean mystery or hardness, like the character may have a bitter heart or a mysterious background. Most people would think of black as an evil color, most villains have been bond to black, but the hero could have black eyes.
And I think that's where everyone ruins a story, the fact that the hero has to be good and the villain has to be evil. When making a villain, I always ask myself, how did they become evil? Every villain has a reason for destruction and it can't be because they're simply bad. Did someone influence this? Did they have a bad experience in their childhood that turned their heart sour?The hardest thing for a writer is to make their characters appear human. You must make your readers think the characters are real, even when they events may not be.
Blue: Not many people have blue eyes these days. Maybe that's why I always cheer whenever I meet a blue-eyed character. Blue can be a pretty color, when used right. Blue can mean energetic, fun and quirky. It can also mean open-minded and kind. But it can also look like electricity, causing a character who seemed nice at first to because an unforeseen storm.
I must warn you about the common stereotype with blue eyes, blonde hair. Blond hair and blue eyes are common together but they are boring sometimes.
And most often or not, characters with blue eyes are mostly the nice guys. I could name a lot of characters with blue eyes that are the heroes. For once, I wish I could read a story where the villain has blue eyes. I think it could work, a villain having blue eyes. So if you write a story with a blue-eyed villain, you must get me to read it.
Brown: The most common eye color of today. Brown is a pretty color, especially since it has the most shades. It can mean strength, creativity and warmth. Since this color has so many shades, I'm going to break down it down for you.
Light Brown: Light brown is rare, as far as I know. I think it can be used for any character with kindness. Light brown would best be suited for an energetic character and maybe for younger characters too.
Common Brown: Common brown is very plain in my eyes but it could also hold many different personalities. For a character with common brown eyes, I would say make their personality whatever you want. You can let your imagination run wild on this one.
Dark Brown: Dark Brown eyes remind me of the earth. I would say characters with dark brown eyes are usually clam and very intelligent. They seem to be quiet and shy although some are not.
Before I go on, I must say a thing or two about brown-eyed characters. Do not, for any reason, compare brown eyes to chocolate. It's not only a cliché but it's boring to read. I don't know how many stories I've read where they use that comparison and I've wanted to strangle the writer. Also, when a writer uses the comparison, I always find myself wondering what kind of chocolate. Do they want me to picture milk or dark chocolate? What if they didn't say anything about the eyes being brown and used chocolate? Could they mean white chocolate? I love chocolate but I wouldn't use it to describe a character's eyes.
Grey: Grey is my favorite eye color, by far. It can mean so many things, from intelligent to shy, strong or calm. Usually characters with grey eyes are either strong or shy. Grey can show that a character has big dreams or can power through any hard situation. Some good comparisons can be the softness of clouds or the hardness of gunmetal.
Grey is a very rare color in the fiction world. And it's a shame for grey is a beautiful color. It has such potential and yet no one really uses this wonderful color.
Green: Green is a wonderful color, meaning freshness, spunk, youthfulness and health. Most often or not, writers compare green to nature, although it doesn't always look like objects in nature. Whenever a writer compares green eyes to nature, I can never picture the color. I think it's because I always forget the bits of brown that's in nature. Also, some writers compare green eyes to jade or emerald stones. Jade is a hard color to picture because the stone can look anywhere from a whitish-green to a bright green with black or dark flecks. Emeralds are easy to picture but the color isn't a common eye color. In the end, green is a hard color to describe. If one of your characters has green eyes, I suggest going on Google and searching for images of green eyes and then describing what you see. It will not only be original but it will help you with your writing.
Hazel: Hazel is a mix of personalities. It has the calming qualities of green, the dreams of grey and the strength of brown. Characters with hazel eyes are interesting because they can have any personality, although they are most common with an outgoing personality.
The thing I like about hazel eyes is that it can go with almost any hair color and it's not usually tied down with a stereotype or cliché. The writer can make the character have any personality.
I could also go over hair colors but I think that would be boring. The only thing I have to say about hair is that as long as you don't tie the color with a stereotype, it's perfectly fine.
Now, I have to talk about something I'm not sure many writers notice, personality blending. It might be just me, but I find myself writing a lot of characters who share the same personalities. Like my female roles are usually strong, outgoing and fierce. My male roles are okay until I make the main character a male, then I make the male really shy for some reason. Of course, I'm still new in the whole writing business yet I can pull out writing advice like I've been writing for years when in reality, it's only been a few months.
People may not realize this but keeping a character in line is the hardest thing to do when writing. I sometimes have to rewrite scenes because they either didn't turn out like I had hoped or the character dragged me to a point that would kill their story. You have to give your character enough leash to lead you but yet you don't want them to ruin your goal. I sometimes think that a character wants to have control over you, to rule you into thinking you have to do everything they tell you, but you don't. Most of their ideas are good ones but not always. You get the final say in everything and you must remember that.
Characters are a writer's family, some days you love each other and others you're at each others throats. But you still deal with them because you have to. Besides, a character always wins. Even if you don't know it, the fact that they are in your mind means they have won something. Your love.
A/N: I apologize for the wait. I had trouble with the chapter. Also, school started so I won't be able to update that often. I hope you understand. :) Leave a review?