By creating multidimensional characters, you are giving life to characters that stick with people. Think of the books you have read, and think of the characters that moved you to tears. Maybe you even identified with them.
Before adding dimensions to your characters, ensure you have taken the first steps to create your characters: How to start creating characters
Most average novels get stuck when writers begin their novel without a plan. A planned novel, with in-depth character development planned, will always do better than an undeveloped one.
Here’s how to plan and create these dimensions….
The First Dimension:
- This is the character’s physical and outward persona. Imagine your character is your coworker in the office, and you are meeting them for the first time, what do you notice? This is the first dimension of your character.
- Create a basic biodata of your characters to lay down the first dimension. If you haven’t already, check out our free character questionnaire. Use our free questionnaire as a template to fill in and create a biodata for each of your characters, whether they are a protagonist or antagonist.
- Remember: most people believe this is an easy task and proceed to neglect it, or think that they have this dimension of their character in their mind, so why do they need to write it? This is a BIG mistake. The first dimension is the foundation on which to lay the other layers of your character, so ensure it is steady and stable or else the other layers will crumble with it!
The Second Dimension:
- This is the character’s background. Taking the previous example of your coworker: you met them on the first day and found out what they look like, how they sound and where they work. You might’ve got a first impression about their personality. That was the first dimension. Now, imagine you have spent three months sitting next to them at work. You have become closer as friends, and have had several conversations over lunch. Now you have started learning about their character’s second dimension. Where are they from, what have they been through in their life. Maybe they have had a divorce in their past, or perhaps they just got married to their highschool sweetheart! These things create the second dimension of your character.
- Write down your character backstory in 500 words, and how it impacts the conflicts and plot points in your novel.
The Third Dimension:
- This is the deepest knowledge you have of your character. Taking the coworker example again, after getting to know them for a year, you have now seen them go through certain serious events. Perhaps they have just lost their parent or, they have just been removed from the job. How do they react to this? Maybe after being removed from their job and burning through their savings they have had to support their elderly parents. How do they react to this moral dilemma?
- Write down how your character reacts to the moral dilemmas, tension points, or main conflict in your novel.