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How To Create a Believable Character for a Novel

How to create a believable character for a novel? First of all, you must realize that there are no superpowers in real life, except the power of personality. When I’m working on my fictional stories that are supposed resemble reality to a great degree, I’m building a file for each character. Whether it be protagonist, antagonist, or the deuteragonist, he will undergo a full investigation. It’s always important for me to consider such details as why certain people react like snapping turtles during difficult situations while others turn it into a joke. Why do some individuals commit a criminal act, and what may be hidden behind all these actions? So, to better my understanding of certain behaviors, I turn myself into a “why-person”. I believe that there are no bad people in any part of this world. There are just different personalities, and of course there are psychopaths and sociopaths, who we usually call “bad people”. My mother used to say, “You can’t judge the sick ones.” Yes, of course, because some of those individuals need help, not judgment. Nobody was born evil unless one has a psychopathological predisposition. By judging them, you are similar to a bad nurse who chastises the terminal patients for soiling their beds. However, there is great news for you—it’s up to you to decide whether to deal with them or avoid them. Here are some keys that may help you better understand someone’s personality and build your character

The first key is that all of us are affected by the unconscious to a certain degree – the forces that are not under our control. For instance, we may have some strong beliefs and superstitions towards some things that we took after our parents, or perhaps we remember some of their warnings that keep us alert in certain situations, and it even might cause us anxiety. Second, all individuals are affected by their Ego that provides a sense of identity. In other words, we try to maintain some consistency in our behavior. If every day you appear in front of your co-workers in well-ironed clothes, you will greatly confuse them if one day you arrive in wrinkled and soiled clothes. The third trick to a better understanding of someone’s action lies in acceptance of differences. We are all shaped by our experiences and environments, which train us to respond to looks, words, and actions in certain ways. Culture is a key aspect of who we are. When I first came to America, I cried from the confusion of how to respond to a stranger’s "How are you?” I grew up in a country where this question may put you in big trouble. You avoid greeting a stranger with a slight nod of your head — otherwise, you may have a good chance of being beaten.

The fourth key is the realization that our cognition is not the same. When creating your characters, think thoroughly about what skills and abilities they are going to have. Some of us have a good memory while others don’t; some of us pay close attention to tiny details, and some of us will miss an elephant if it happens to cross our path. Some of us, with high-stress tolerance, will remain calm while waiting in the lobby at a doctor's appointment, half an hour and even more past the scheduled time. On the contrary, some of us may throw a big fit if in the same situation after five minutes of waiting. The perception of happenings varies from person to person and different people interpret events around them in different ways, depending on many factors.

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