Hello my fellow writers!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself googling “character inspiration” before. I obviously can’t see you through the screen, but I am guessing that quite a lot of you have. Truth is, finding inspiration for any project is usually difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I am going to list five methods that you can use to find inspiration for characters.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Use your friends
I used to do this all of the time. In fact, most of my old stories have characters that are based on my friends. I find this method to be the easiest because it makes me feel more familiar with the characters even before I begin writing them. If a character is based off of a living, breathing person that I know already, then it is fairly easy for me to fill in extra details to make them jump off the page.
Side Note: As a personal rule, I never base an antagonist off of anyone I know in real life. Chances are it will cause issues if that person happens to read your work and I’m sure that is a path that nobody wants to go down.
2. Look at character tropes
I utilize this method more frequently now and it helps me a lot. We have all heard about the epic hero or the omnipotent elder, and these characters show up everywhere in fiction. Why not give a go at creating your own character based off of these tropes? Try to twist them in a new way to create some memorable characters!
Side Note: You can also base characters off of elemental tropes. What I mean by this is that a character based off fire would be energetic and volatile while a character based off of water would be cool and calm. Just an idea. You can also twist these to where they are the opposite of what you might expect (like a water-based character acting more aggressive, like a tsunami).
3. Make characters based on zodiac signs
I actually heard about this tip recently. I read somewhere that it is helpful to assign a birthdate to your characters so that you can find out what their zodiac sign is and make their personalities and actions reflect that sign’s typical traits. I have yet to figure out how well this works for me, but it seems like a great place to start. Also, in Japanese culture they tend to do something similar with blood types, so assign your character a blood type and check those traits out too!
4. Use a character generator
This one is really fun. The internet is full of generators that can create amazing concepts and names for you, so character creation generators are available as well! These generators can throw a physical description and personality traits together to help give you ideas for new characters.
5. Look at existing characters
There is nothing wrong with modeling your characters off of existing characters; just don’t just replicate the original character. Maybe you like a particular character’s sarcasm and immaturity. Make another character of your own that has those traits! It’s fairly simple. Just make sure to mold the character into something new, not just a copy-and-pasted version of the character you modeled them after.
So, there you have it! These are five places to look for character inspiration. If you enjoyed the article, please leave a like or comment to tell me how I did. Also, don’t forget to follow for new content or share this article with your writerly friends!
Thank you for reading and good luck in your writing endeavors!