How to Write a Character
In order to create a character, you first need to decide on some kind of basic plot for your story. Will it be a comedy, romance, horror, mystery, science fiction? Once you know what type of story, then you need to decide what type of protagonist and antagonist. For example, will the protagonist be a male or female? What kind of conflict will he or she encounter? How will the antagonist be connected to the protagonist? What will be the setting (time and place)? Is this in present day, past, or future? These will all affect the character as far as what type of tools will be available, the type of clothing worn, and transportation and communication.
The next thing will be determining any changes these two characters will go through, if at all. Will the conflict be solved in a good way? What kind of minor characters will the major characters encounter on the way? You need to decide if these interactions will have a big impact on the story line or somehow interfere.
The best way to keep track of your characters is to do a character sketch for each. Determine gender, name, appearance, clothing, occupation, character traits, relationship to other characters, etc., and write it all down. The best stories have clearly defined characters throughout the story. Bad stories will have characters acting in ways that are not consistent with previous actions, unless a direct motivation or reason is shown.
If you are basing any characters on real people, you need to use care. In order to publish a book that features characters that could be recognized as real people, a writer must get signed permission from the person before doing so. If not, the writer can be sued for ruining the person’s reputation or for sharing private information, especially if shown in a negative way.
When to use Character
You would use a character any time you are writing a story. The character can be an animal, space alien, creature, or person. Jack London used dogs and wolves as his protagonists in stories such as “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang.” Humans play a large part in the stories, but he wrote from the viewpoint of the animals, giving readers a different point of view from most other stories.
Characters are also used when people want to educate. Shows such as “Sesame Street” and “El Chavo” create lovable animal and human characters that interact to teach children things such as the alphabet, numbers, morals, and good character traits. Popular characters for young preschoolers nowadays include Dora, the Backyardigans, Peppa the Pig, and Olivia.