Character Analysis

A popular way to begin writing a story is to start by creating a character.

I have read plenty about creating characters, but it has occurred to me that perhaps I should examine a variety of fictional characters I already know, and analyze them on the basis of my book knowledge about character creation.  This might help me become better at applying my knowledge to create characters.

Some characters I could examine:

  • Jurdoc Jern (The Zero Stone): Not a particularly compelling or complicated character, but certainly simple to analyze
  • Everyone in A Small Town in Germany: The plot of the story is simple, but it is played out by getting to know each of the characters.  The interplay between the characters is what makes up the storyline.
  • Murderbot (All Systems Red): A very compelling character, though not as clearly articulated
  • Justice of Toren (Ancillary Justice): One of my favorite characters
  • Everyone in Django Wexler’s Shadow Campaigns series: Numerous characters are created for this series, although they weren’t all fully dimensional.
  • Everyone in C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series: The characters in this series are what keep it going (19 books so far).  None of them are complicated, but they have something that makes us want to keep reading.
  • The protagonist in The Fifth Season: She is a very complicated character.

Oh, wow.  It occurs to me that much of the problem with Golden Age science fiction is that characters are only incidental to need to telling a story about some matter of science.  With the more modern science fiction that I enjoy, characters and worlds are more important than the science, which is often just a setting for a story to take place.