Character & POV
3 min read

4 approaches to creating characters

An image of a writer dreaming up a new character

In the world of fiction writing, characters are the lifeblood of your story. They are the beating heart that pumps intrigue and emotion through the veins of your plot, giving life to your narrative world. Like painters using different techniques and strokes to bring their canvas to life, writers employ various approaches to create captivating characters. Today, we'll get up close and personal with four fundamental strategies: the obsessive immersive, the rounded, the partial (idiosyncratic/type driven), and the flat approach.

Immersing obsessively – the nitty-gritty of characters

Welcome to the deep end, where character creation is an all-consuming, method-acting-like affair. This approach, also known as the obsessive immersive, involves fully plunging into the minds and lives of your characters. It's like becoming a method actor for your characters, living and breathing their experiences until their reactions become second nature. Dive into this approach in greater detail in our dedicated article, 'How to use an obsessive immersive approach to creating characters'.

The rounded approach – because no one's one-dimensional

Imagine your characters as spheres, not flat circles. A rounded character is a fully developed, complex being with strengths, weaknesses, and a life beyond the confines of the plot. In our article 'How to use a rounded approach to creating characters', we delve into how to add layers to your characters, creating well-rounded individuals who feel like real people to your readers.

The idiosyncratic road – the partial approach

Not all characters need to be fully formed to be effective. Sometimes, focusing on a specific trait, quirk, or type can make a character just as memorable, if not more so. This is where the partial, idiosyncratic, or type-driven approach comes into play. Join us on this fascinating journey in 'How to use a partial (idiosyncratic/type driven) approach to creating characters'.

Embracing simplicity with the flat approach

Flat doesn't have to mean boring. Some characters serve their purpose best by remaining essentially the same throughout the story – they're called flat characters. With the right touch, these characters can enhance your narrative rather than detract from it. If you're intrigued by the potential of this simplicity, our article 'How to use a flat approach to creating characters' will be your guide.

A characterful conclusion

Choosing an approach to character creation is an art form in itself. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a reflection of your narrative needs and your personal writing style. So, don your writer's cap, grab your metaphorical paintbrush, and start adding colour and depth to your narrative canvas. It's time to create characters that are as compelling, colourful, and diverse as the worlds they inhabit. The world of fiction writing awaits!