Memoir aside, the biggest traits I offer my characters are a love of nature and adventure. Now these traits can be good or bad for characters depending upon the plot. Loving nature can lead a character astray; get him lost, both physically and mentally. And seeking adventure can always lead into danger, especially with young protagonists.
Stories are nothing without tension, remember. If we think externally, a love of nature can be defined as anything or any place outside of the protagonist or character. Adventure can be had on any quest or journey to either discover the self or the character’s surroundings. To discover the good or bad of society or the world. And these two traits can come into conflict in any genre.
While I set many of my stories in national parks where a love of physical nature and adventure can combine, the setting for story can be anywhere. If you strip Star Wars: A New Hope down to its bones, the story could be considered a young man’s discovery of his abilities on a quest for adventure outside of his known space or world. In the beginning of this epic, Luke is a farmer on a desolate planet living with his aunt and uncle. He dreams of adventure in faraway places of the universe. His friends have left to find their place in the world. Luke wants to do this. It’s not until other characters enter his life that he is afforded the opportunity to try. Luke’s love of adventure sends him all over the universe. But inside, Luke is still trying to understand his own sense of worth, discover his own abilities.
The best stories have internal and external struggles—even in memoir. Giving characters traits that the writer may possess is a beginning. From there, the traits of characters, both good and bad, need to be finely tuned to the story you are telling.
What personal traits do you give your characters? Are they used for good or bad? Thanks so much for visiting! Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
Please note that I will not post in August of 2019. I have many writing projects I desperately need to address. Thanks for always reading my Adventures in Writing blog posts and sharing your insight. It means the world to me. Enjoy your summer!
18 thoughts on “What personal traits have you written into your character(s)? Insecure Writers Want to Know”
I agree about the importance of tension and internal and outer struggles in stories. I can see how setting stories in nature can help create this as a setting and as a jump start for interesting adventures. Have a great August!
Great post. I try not to put much of me in them or I can't write them. I guess morals, reason and choices are base on me since I am writing them. Happy IWSG!
Oh, yes. I love to pack tension in to my stories.
I think of you whenever I think of the parks. Love your children's stories. Enjoy your August. I hope you get much done.
Excellent point. I really do love traits that are just as bad for them as good.
Anna from elements of emaginette
A thought provoking post. Much of this chimes with some of my more adventurous characters. And my use of the horse world entails going to venues all over the place in some glorious natural settings.
Thank you so much, Natalie! It is always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your August as well.
Great post! Enjoy your summer. Good luck with your writing.
Sometimes it is difficult to put "wrong choices" into our characters because we see the problems that can arise. Thanks for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing, Juneta. Happy IWSG week to you, too. Enjoy!
Yes you do, Chrys. Those hurricane stories are packed with tension. Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. It's greatly appreciated. All best to you!
Thank you, Dawn! I truly appreciate your kind words here at Adventures in Writing. You have a beautiful August as well. Happy writing!
Absolutely, Anna! Thanks for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing. All best to you.
That sounds truly intriguing, Roland. Good for you! And thanks so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. I truly appreciate it. Enjoy your week.
Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes here at Adventures in Writing, Michelle. Enjoy your summer as well.
I agree about all the emotional feelings and tensions to be added to the story. It is important. All the best with your writing!
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a note. I truly appreciate your kind words. Please stop by again! Enjoy your weekend.
I’m late to the party this month – I like how you always make your posts informative as well as answer the question, Victoria. I’ve only written non-fiction, so in memoir, it’s all about me and my traits. In my articles, personality traits aren’t really part of the piece.
Enjoy your blog break in August. Good for you to prioritize your writing projects this summer. I should do the same. But, summers provide many distractions!
Summer certainly provides distractions, Liesbet. And so do the children! I love them to death, but sometimes I just need to write.
You are so right that personality plays a part of memoir and not so much in articles. Thank you so much for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Enjoy your summer!