Character Psychology

A writer is dear and necessary for us in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.

Count Leo Tolstoy

Character psychology is an important part of what the author will reveal and, since you, as the author, represent the character, you will reveal yourself to the audience through your own psychological makeup. Authors can create multifaceted and emotional characters because they are not afraid to explore their own psyche. Learn to feel vulnerable, receptive, lonely, don’t be afraid to explore your darkside and your characters will become real because they reflect the imagination and inner structure of the writer.

In order for characters to be real and deep, you must become introspective and explore your personality. A character’s psychology creates their specific actions to build the story. As the author, your job is to give your reader a guide to your character, whereby the character’s actions become expected. All successful authors have a basic knowledge of human nature and themselves.

Every person has a private and a public face that they display. The public face comes from your observable actions and communication with others. Dialogue and character response to a situation show this. The private self goes on in a character’s head: thoughts, emotion, and imagination. These two selves are often in conflict with one another and as a result you should develop characters with this struggle in mind.

Adopt a ‘never say never’ approach to your character’s development. Sally might just lie, cheat, steal, murder, or die for her cause if left desperate. Remember to deal with not just the needs, but the actual how it was obtained. Desperation of need, environment, psychology, attitudes, and perception all play a part in your character’s decisions. The psychological makeup you present to your audience should reflect the decisions made.

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