Our first tip was have bold characters that are unique. The second tip was, once creating bold characters, make sure they have integrity and remain true to who they are. Character development is fine, but don’t have a silly character randomly get all serious, and don’t have a quiet character randomly give a speech.
And now, for tip #3.
Love your characters.
We all want readers to love our characters…and thus, the first thing we must do is become invested in our characters ourselves. I know it seems obvious, but it’s true.
How can we make readers care and feel for a character if we don’t take the time to do so ourselves? How can we portray characters with integrity to their character if we don’t THINK about how they would act in a certain situation?
If we want others to fall in love with our characters, we must do so ourselves.
There’s a serious temptation to for us to be unfaithful to our characters and wish that they would change; we don’t want to love them for who they are. Fight this temptation! You must love your characters for who they are. Characters can change…but not without reason. If you feel like changing a character just because you’re bored…then you don’t love your characters enough!
Love your characters. That’s how you make others love them.
We all want our main characters to stand out and be unique. Who wants to simply copy one character from another story? That’s no fun. And it won’t make us feel proud of ourselves. Sure, characters from other stories can INSPIRE the characters in our own stories…but they shouldn’t be exactly the same.
Similarly, being bold means being pronounced and having a sense of identity. Nobody likes a character that is wishy-washy and, in essence, has no character.
Which brings me to Character Tip #2
Tip #2: Have integrity
Have you ever read a book where one character makes a decision that is TOTALLY against…well, his or her character?
It’s like if the Balrog started gushing about how much he loves puppies.
Essentially, we must make sure that our characters keep in character. Sure, characters can change in the same way that real-live people can. There’s nothing wrong with that…it’s realistic! But what happens when characters are ALWAYS changing? Grumpy here, selfless in this scene, a bully in another…it just doesn’t make sense.
If your character doesn’t have integrity, make sure you give the reader a good explanation as to why. Maybe the hero of the story is having a rough day, and THAT’S why he acts like a jerk…that makes sense. But if the hero suddenly just decides to act like a jerk, for no good reason other than, say, to advance the plot? Uh, no.
If you consider yourself one of my hardcore followers, I’d love to know what you think about this!
John Hedekira is the main character of my fantasy series, Elithius.
Obviously, as much as possible, I want all of you to love my characters. I want you to feel for them. I want you to care about them.
So I think it’s only right that I tell you about them.
Meet John Hedekira
He feels trapped. He feels alone. He feels unappreciated. He feels abandoned.
John Hedekira’s parents disappear when he’s thirteen, leaving him to look after his two little siblings. Can you imagine the sense of confusion? The anger? The frustration? The sudden, incredible weight of responsibility?
John dutifully looks after his siblings for three years. He does “everything an older brother should do”…until it all becomes too much. His siblings have become so distant and delirious, they start to shut him out. Even though he is throwing away his life to provide for them, they won’t even acknowledge him.
So he blows up at them. Wouldn’t you?
But he also decides that, if they’ll neglect him, he’ll neglect them.
But there’s this eerie sense of fate in the story. The same night John decides he will neglect his siblings, their home is attacked. John is left bleeding out on the floor of his own home, and his siblings–Cassie and Luke–are captured…
…by the Evil.
The Evil are the fabled monsters of the Dark Lands. They are Evil incarnate; immortal through their spiritual connection with each other, though their bodies can be slain. And they always flock to wherever an evil act is committed…and thus they find John.
John survives the attack…but is determined to get revenge on the Evil for nearly killing him. He still doesn’t care about his siblings. Everything will change…but not yet.
Who Is John?
John Hedekira is like each of us. He just wants life to make sense. He feels like a question without an answer. He knows that he is called to something deeper; he knows that his life has meaning. But he doesn’t know what that meaning is yet.
And, like so many of us, he searches for meaning in his life in the wrong ways. At first, he finds meaning in the obligation he feels towards his siblings–to provide for them after their parents disappeared. Then he feels empowered by his feelings of hatred and vengeance towards the Evil that nearly killed him and kidnapped his siblings.
But something happens that changes him.
It takes his hatred consuming him to realize what he’s doing wrong.
He learns that he doesn’t have to fight out of anger or wrath. He doesn’t have to fight because he hates his enemies.
He is given a second chance at life.
He can fight because he wants to protect. He can fight because it’s the right thing to do. Even in battle, he can love.
Believe me, it’s an epic transformation.
John is a person who is driven by his emotions…but learns to control them. He learns to channel them. And he allows himself to undergo a spiritual change.
He still struggles to do what’s right, but now he knows why he’s fighting. He has purpose. He has drive.
He’s going to rescue his little brother and sister because he loves them. He’s going to fight the Evil because he cares about the world.
And he’s going to become a kick-ass swordsman while he does it. He’s going to wield supernatural powers. He’s going to unlock godly powers so that he can kick out the evil ones inside.
This is my main character. He’s a determined, passionate 16 year-old guy, who fights for what he loves, but is scarred by a rocky childhood. He can have trouble controlling his anger. He can feel despair. But he’s determined never to give up or give in.
So, I guess you could say he’s a fighter.
And that is John Hedekira.
All right, so if you really want to get to know John Hedekira and his story, you can get my book here. One of the best ways you can support an author is by reading his (or her) work! And it’s only $0.99 as a Kindle eBook.
Whether you’re interested in downloading my story or not, as always, I want to know: What do you think?
I’m happy to announce that editing for Volume 4 is underway, and it shouldn’t be long before it is published! The first arc of my series, the “Soror and Frater” arc, is finally finished. And have no fear; it is the first arc of many. The world of The Golden Lands is about to get a little bit bigger, more mysterious, and more magical. There’s a lot to look forward to, coming into the next arc. But as for now, this is the “end of Season 1”, to speak in TV-show terms.
That being said, allow me to give you some clear, concrete updates and agendas that I hope to stick to:
Like most TV-shows, there will be a decent gap in between the end of Season 1 and the premiere of Season 2. So after the end of Volume 4, there will be a longer wait than usual until Volume 5 comes out.
I don’t plan to use that extra time idly. Rather, I intend to redo my “Soul Bleeder” series. If you haven’t already noticed, the page that was entitled “Soul Bleeder” now reads “Soul Bleeder: The “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” of The Golden Lands”
What does that mean? Well, first of all, for those who are unaware of what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (AOS) is, it is a TV-show set in the world of the Marvel superheroes (like the Avengers). AOS is pretty much the story of everything that’s going on behind the scenes of the Avengers; you learn about certain characters or villains that will appear in the movies before the movies even come out. It builds a lot of excitement, and gives you a more in-depth experience of the Marvel universe. The important thing for you to know is that, like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Soul Bleeder will be a story about everything going on behind the scenes of The Golden Lands, and everything will tie in (most likely around Volume 8).
This will require a lot of work though. Thus, I feel like I need a bit of a break to make this all work–tying Soul Bleeder in with The Golden Lands.
There’s not much else for me to say! Please consider supporting my series. Self publishing is very hard and I need all the help I can get! A rebblog, a review, anything will help, and it doesn’t have to be difficult! If you like The Golden Lands, please tell the people that you can!
Volume 1 is still free as an eBook! If you haven’t already grab a copy! People have lots of good things to say about Volume 1, so I know you’ll enjoy it: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535151
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Using a graphic tablet, I’ve finished recoloring the cover for volume one of The Golden Lands. Check it out!
Now you may notice few things different from when I first displayed the original version of the cover of Volume 1. First of all, the graphics are way better. That comes from using the graphic tablet. Also, I changed the character’s shirt from brown to gray, because he wears gray shirts in the book. And last of all, I added the title.
Tell me what you think? THE GOLDEN LANDS IS GOING TO BE SELF-PUBLISHED VERY SOON!!!
Now I’m going to explain the reason why I’m writing The Golden Lands:
FAME. FORTUNE. WORLD DOMINATION!!!!!
(the image is not mine)
Just kidding! Although I can’t say that I’d say no to fame and fortune (and I probably wouldn’t be the best at domination the world), those aren’t the reasons why I’m writing TGL.
The Golden Lands is, first of all, extremely fun to write. It’s very fast paced, which means it’s always exciting for me to write and present to others, and the main character is based off of yours truly, and the second main character is based off of a friend. So now I get to write about myself doing things I could only imagine doing, in the hope that I’ll someday be able to live up to my character’s example. This is a big part of why I’m writing TGL: I’ve done it to create a “better me” so that I can try to live up to my “better me”.
It’s actually pretty interesting; fusing my character, aspirations, likes and dislikes, what I know or don’t know about myself, into this person who grows into a better person than I am. It enables me to learn more about myself, and what I’m truly like. I think most writers would agree that their writing is a reflection of who they are; combine that with a character that is supposed to be you yourself, and the puzzle of who you are starts to come together.
Sheesh, that paragraph was confusing…
Let’s not forget another significant reason why I write TGL. I am doing this for God. I believe that my writing can be pleasing to Him, and I believe that I can help others to follow in His ways. Mind you, The Golden Lands could not be categorized as Christian, but it does have themes of Christian morality. And I think most people appreciate and take the most away from Christian morals. If you’re not a Christian, maybe you disagree, and I can understand why. But, for example, out of all the Avengers, I think most people would agree that Captain America possesses the most impressive moral values. Which Avengers’ values reflect Christian values the most? Captain America’s.
Just a friendly example 🙂
But anyway, God is one of the most important, if not the most important reason why I am writing. Although The Golden Lands aren’t Christian fiction, the characters still possess that impressive sense of morality, based off of Christian values.
So now you know the reason. Stay tuned for the next post when I show off the cover of TGL!!!