Character Creation

Create Larger-than-Life Characters

Readers and audiences love larger-than-life characters. Think of Hannibal Lecter, Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Bennet, Holly Golightly or Sherlock Holmes. But how do you create memorable story people like this?

90% of a character, like an iceberg, exists below the surface. But you have to create that submerged content so that the part an audience sees can shine in the sunlight. Or spotlight.

Character Creation is not a ‘how to write’ or ‘how to act’ book – it is about doing the background work that enables you to bring a character to life.

Here you will find three fundamental character personality archetypes – the primary colours of your character palette: the Warrior, the Thinker, and the Carer. And three ‘hybrid’ personalities that blend those three – the Crusader, the Artist, and the Adventurer. These six types are all you need to understand in order to create any character – including psychopaths, antiheroes, and rebels.

To guide you in creating the three-dimensions of character – the physical, social, and psychological – each of the archetypes are explained in terms of a dozen key features.

To help you create heroes and villains there is detail about the dark and light side of each of the types – and why individuals end up on a particular side.

To allow you to develop conflict or romance, friendship or feud, there is advice on which personality types attract one another and which ones will fight.

And there is a step-by-step framework for a character development arc that you can use to take your ‘flawed hero’ character towards a happy-ever-after or a tragic ending.

These tools can be used to improvise a new character from scratch or to explore an existing character and fill in the ‘missing pieces’ of their background.

Character Creation draws on the work of Stanislavski and Laban, combining this with modern theories of human psychology and mental health to provide a detailed and complete framework for creating larger-than-life characters.

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