Who/What is a multi-dimensional character? This is a character who is complex and unique. A character who cannot be sufficiently described by measuring a few traits or attributes about them.
In short, all of us. We are not one thing, all human beings are complicated and complex. No one thing can describe us.
With that in mind, why then do we expect our characters to be described and pinned down by one or two attributes? Understanding yourself as a human being and studying ‘YOU’ is really a great place to start understanding just how complex we are as human beings.
Read below some ideas on how you could create multi-dimensional characters.
- Identify the core of the character: Who this person really is and what do they stand for, what are their values. We all have a line that we cannot cross…unless of course it’s a matter of life and death. Once you have written down the core of this person, then your next step is number 2.
- Find the inconsistencies in your character’s behaviour: No one is perfect, ‘for all have sinned and fallen short’ lol. Study the humans around you for inconsistencies in what they say and what they do, mirror that to your stories, to get rich, authentic characters who come off as real.
- Judge Thyself: Now that you’ve had a good time judging your neighbours, it’s time to judge yourself. Look closely at yourself as a human being, contrast that with two or one of the main characters you’re creating and pin down what parts of yourself are those characters. How have some of the values you hold or some of your behaviour traits contributed to conflicts in your personal life?
- Examine your personal backstory: What are some of the things that happened in your past that you might consider traumatic and how have they or are they still affecting your present life? These become the unconscious force driving your characters and when you tap into this you automatically get a layered character.
- Present your characters with similar dilemmas: Do that as you work out how each character would respond, based on their backgrounds and personality types. Doing this will help you go much deeper with your character thereby creating multi- dimensional characters.
Those are just a few tips on how you can create multi-dimensional characters. Do you have more suggestions on this? Share them in the comments section.
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