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First Draft: Your Characters Lack Uniqueness? Use These Seven Ways to Give Them Fresh Voices

First Draft: Your Characters Lack Uniqueness? Use These Seven Ways to Give Them Fresh Voices

First Draft

6. Identify Character Traits

Everyone has character traits—both good and bad. They are the aspects of a character’s attitude and behavior. They make up that character’s personality and are often traits shown with descriptive adjectives.

Are your characters religious, honest, loyal, devoted, loving, kind, sincere, ambitious, satisfied, happy, faithful, patient, determined, or persistent?

Or are they dishonest, disloyal, mean, rude, disrespectful, impatient, greedy, angry, pessimistic, cruel, unmerciful, wicked, obnoxious, or unforgiving?

A character can be dominant, confident, persuasive, ambitious, decisive, or charismatic. Others can be playful, wild, silly or hilariously inappropriate. One can be educated while the other is uneducated.

All of these types of descriptive traits—accompanied by the character types you’ve allocated—will dictate what your characters say and how they say it, so do your best to assign certain traits that you are interested in exploring with them. When you do, you’ll often be pleasantly surprised as they come to life on their own.

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