Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogfest: Creating Memorable Characters

Creating memorable characters, huh?

Well, first they'll need a memorable name. Bob Smith just won't cut it, especially not if you write paranormal novels like I do. The guy's your hero, after all, you've got to give him a heroic name. Like Lance, or Vance, or Chance... actually, Chance sounds too much like a heroine, so don't forget to keep a list while you brainstorm. You never know what other characters will pop up needing memorable names.

Then, of course, they must have a memorable appearance. I favor the prodigious use of eye-patches, myself. Nothing sexier than a hero with an eye-patch. Heck, I bet a heroine with an eye-patch would be even more memorable. I mean, you've never heard of a heroine with an eye-patch, right? You wouldn't give your villain an eye-patch, because that's too predictable.

Speaking of predictable, that's one thing memorable characters never are. Like, no one ever suspected that Han Solo—the benevolent dictator of memorable characters—was going to shoot Greedo in that effed up space-bar (which was really George Lucas's basement. It's still like that, muppet band and all, except no one told them minimum wage has gone up since 1977). But Han did it anyway, because memorable characters are defined by their actions almost as much as they're defined by their cool one-liners. So be sure to have a stock of these ready before you start writing. A witty catch-phrase would be even better, so start thinking up a few of these now.

In fact, why even bother coming up with a memorable plot at all? All you need is to put these memorable characters in a situation where they're sure to get into trouble, and make them get out of it. Soooo easy when you think of it like that. Think, McFly, think!

Said plot doesn't have to be original (*cough* Cameron *cough* Avatar *cough*), as long as the characters are seven feet tall, and blue, and fly around on cool dragon-like things. Because everyone remembers characters who get to fly, so be sure to add some flying hippos, or giant eagles, or even a pack-angel, if you so desire. But nothing boring like a plane, because that's just not memorable enough.

Lesse, where was I? Oh, memorable characters must also ALWAYS get the girl. You remember her. Chance. The one with the eye-patch? Yeah, but she also has to have some kind of secret, because an eye-patch isn't quite memorable enough on it's own, and everyone loves secrets. And it would help to either make her a princess in disguise (which might be hard for poor Chance, since everyone would always recognize her eye-patch), or a girl dressed like a boy because she's in hiding from her evil uncle who wanted to marry her off to her gross second cousin, who doesn't even have an eye-patch or a memorable name. What a loser.

To sum up, if you want to create memorable characters, make sure they're tall, blue, have cool names and even cooler dialogue. If they could mouth-off to their boss once, that would be very memorable, because who here hasn't ever wanted to tell their boss exactly where they could stick something large and pointy? Okay, maybe I like my boss, so I wouldn't want to do that, but I'm proving my point right there. I'm not very memorable. Tere, WHO? I dunno, they'll all say. She didn't have an eye-patch.  ;)

Note: The preceding was meant to be humorous (or humourous, however you want to spell it). Ergo, I don't want to see a rash of heroes named Vance rescuing an eye-patched princess in disguise.

Those are my ideas, and they don't come cheap. They are however, for sale. First come, first served.

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