Whether you’re on your first draft or tenth, there’s always something new to learn about your characters. Just like us, relatable characters have hopes, fears, goals, pet peeves, and more—the challenge is making all those pieces fit together.
While the literary community might frown upon or call them unoriginal, I have reason to believe they should be encouraged. After all, what’s the golden rule of writing? Write what you know! What could you possibly know better than yourself?
It’s a great time to give our character writing skills the attention it deserves; people of all walks of life and identities crave representation in the stories they consume. And just as important is knowing what it takes to make your characters believable and memorable to readers.
Don’t judge anything that wants to live on the page. Start writing whatever comes to mind first, and don’t worry about where you start and where you finish.
As an ocean science educator, I am going to teach you how to use the guidelines that nature has already provided to create your very own fantastical creature. The first rule to remember is that organisms adapt and develop characteristics based on their environment.