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The art of character development for a story and diving deep into their personalities

Characters are created from the imagination- what one imagines people to be, what one would like them to be. This comes from within. Characters are often not created from nowhere. They are an amalgam, a mixture of the many characters one encounters in life, some of them colourful, some of them with their own quirks, […]

Characters are created from the imagination- what one imagines people to be, what one would like them to be. This comes from within.
Characters are often not created from nowhere. They are an amalgam, a mixture of the many characters one encounters in life, some of them colourful, some of them with their own quirks, insecurities, anxieties, strengths, their life scripts, some of which may have been scripted in childhood
One always draws on one’s experiences, the shared experiences of others. The rest is imagination. The characters acquire more and more life as one writes. Their personalities acquire nuances and layers, partly from life events and their response to them. Some human emotions and feelings have universality, others acquire individual corollaries. The roads we choose to take have profound consequences, shaping in turn our character. The story teller draws inferences. Characters are also formed by factors beyond one’s control, like the Partition of the Indian Sub-continent. The writer has to understand and portray the impact of that on different people.
The stories come partly from many interesting people one encounters in life’s journey. Their personalities and traits get mixed up, as do their stories. Many things are invented, imagined both in the narrative and in the personae of the characters, as it should be in fiction.
Some of them acquire such rich personalities that one would like to come across them, meet them, have them as friends, some of the main protagonists one can fall in love with, have them in one’s life.
Empathy, living their lives, imagining oneself in it, really experiencing what they are going through helps create this. As does the maxim of show don’t tell their character traits
The narrator has to become more than a sutradhaar -an actor in the real-life drama being portrayed. One has to become a part of it. “. All the world’s a stage…”, as the Bard said. Total immersion is key as is sincerity.
Author and Entrepreneur

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