Character Creation 101 (part 7)

Hello, and welcome to Character Creation 101! I haven’t worked out our syllabus yet, so bear with me. It’ll take some time to work out what we’re going to do in here.

Or… maybe we could just take it one character at a time.

Yeah, let’s do that.

For these final three weeks, you and I will be exploring various character types and traits, and delving into how to write them well, no matter the story you’re working on. After all, characters are some of the most important parts of writing, whether you’re writing novels, novellas, or even short stories. If the characters are awful, no amount of amazing story will help you. Trust me on that.

 

Thus far, I’ve talked about protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, dead men walking, lovers, and silent types… but I still have three more to talk to you about, and today’s is one of my favorites. I love writing this character, no matter the story, even though it’s not always a necessary one.

The Hobbit

 

I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean by this. Well. Hobbits are sweet and gentle, fond of growing things, and see a bright outlook on everything around them—and that’s the kind of character I’m talking about.

 

How to create a character who sees good in everything, no matter what

I want to start by telling you that if they’re done wrong, this can be one of the flattest characters around, and one of the most easily expendable. But if they’re done well, they’ll be a reader favorite, one who everyone comes back to time and time again, to remember what it’s like to see everything through rose-colored glasses.

 

Use Your Childhood

This is one of the best ways to write a hobbit, because in many ways, they’re very childlike. Not childish, mind you. They’re not whiny or annoying, but bright and cheerful. They hold hope in their hearts, no matter what, and they see the good in everything—even when there’s arguably no good to see. This time, I’ll use a character from one of my books. Think of Sasha, from Mynidd, when you’re thinking of a good hobbit character who is not a hobbit at all. He’s joyful, hopeful, and willing to see good even where no one else sees it. He’s a good man, a kind man, and one who helps everyone around him in every way he can. He’s like a young boy, a child, one who wants only to see and do good, always.

 

Use Your Heart

Of course. The heart is the most important part of a hobbit. They have heart enough for ten characters, wrapped up in a single one. They have kindness and joy within them, such that could break a book if done improperly. Write them in a way that allows freedom, a method that lets them be free and experience the world as only they can. Let them smile, let them laugh, let them crack jokes, even in the face of deepest hardship.

 

Use Your Head

Write them carefully, no matter what you do. The hobbit can be overpowering, and can steal the show if you’re not paying close attention. Hobbits are loveable to nearly everyone, they’re rarely expendable, and they’re someone our readers attach to very easily. Don’t write that simply, don’t create it haphazardly. Put thought into every single thing they do and say, but not so much that they lose their childlike nature.

Be prepared to love them, too. Prepare to start seeing the world like they do, even if it’s only for a short time. Be ready for them to steal your heart, as they steal the hearts of so many others.

 

They’ll love you back, don’t worry.

 

Rani Divine
Associate Editor, etc.