The Things They Carry

So I’m writing my first story; the first one I’m determined to finish, and now I’m at the character profiling stage. Yay!

The most important thing I’ve learned about creating good characters is making them relatable. As such I need to ask these questions about my main characters:

-Can they exist in real life?

-Can I relate to their goals and motivations?

-Do I emphathise with them? Am I rooting for them to achieve those goals in spite of the odds?

If I can answer YES to all these questions, then I’m on the right path to having a great character.

But here’s one other interesting question I found to be essential in creating great characters.

-What do they carry?

I had to answer this question literally. What do they carry on their person? In their purses? Wallets? Pockets?

I realised that the things people carry say volumes about who they are, without the writer having to spell it out. For example, I always carry an umbrella and a shawl in my bag no matter the season or weather condition. I believe that says I always want to be prepared for the unexpected. It shows that I’m a planner and I always have a plan B; I can get as far as Plan E. It also shows that I am cautious and can also be very pessimistic. 

I could go on and on just with the umbrella and shawl but you get the point.

The things they carry

Even little things such as a lighter, green lipstick, or an old faded note, have big things to say about those who carry them

Tell me what your character carries and I will tell you who they are.  – Me

Food for thought: What do you carry and what does it say about you?

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