Blog Tour & Guest Post: How To Create Good Characters by TC Southwell

Today we have a guest blogger with us, Indie author TC Southwell. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her amazing books. T C Southwell writes fantasy and science-fiction e-books, some of which are also available as paperbacks. Her novels will introduce you to magical worlds, seductive villains, damaged heroes and butt-kicking heroines. All of the first books in her series are permanently free. Links and descriptions are available at the end of the post. A special promotion is running until August 5th! Demon Lord II, Dark God, is only 99c on Smashwords. Coupon Code: XX57H

TCSouthwell2_smallerHow To Create Good Characters

The key to creating good characters, whom your readers will find engaging and empathise with, is, first and foremost, to love them yourself. When you’re invested in your characters, especially the main ones, but also the supporting players, it comes across in your writing. As soon as possible after you introduce a character, describe what he or she looks and sounds like, and anything else that’s relevant. Make sure they’re wearing clothes, unless they’re not supposed to be! Always do this from another character’s point of view, or, if that’s not possible, have your character think about him or herself in a manner that befits his or her personality. Have your character look in a mirror, if necessary. Even a partial description, initially, will allow your readers to visualise the character somewhat. Trying to envision a ‘blank person’, I find, is extremely unsatisfactory.

Characters should be flawed. No one’s perfect, not even heroes and heroines, and readers will relate to those aspects, which will increase their empathy. Be sure to create an interesting backstory to explain your character’s foibles, pet peeves or phobias. You can have him or her think or talk about it, or another character who knows them well. A combination of the two is ideal. Even if your hero is a good guy, if other players dislike him, it will give the readers interesting insights into all of them. After the initial description, character building should be woven into the story, as you show your readers who the characters are through their actions, opinions and interactions with others. Allow your readers to draw their own conclusions about certain aspects, so their relationship is closer.

Once you’ve created your characters, they should change. Generally, people don’t stay the same, especially when exposed to life-threatening or -altering situations. Character development makes them more interesting and unpredictable, but they should never step completely out of character in order to fulfill some aspect of the story. That’s unbelievable, unless you’ve already established a potential for such a drastic change early on.

Creating an interesting character makes writing about them far more enjoyable, so you’ll want to do more of it. Bad guys – and girls – should be equally interesting, and have some redeeming qualities, so he or she doesn’t come across as a stereotypical evil-doer. The most interesting characters, in my opinion, are anti-heroes, so-called bad guys who occasionally do good deeds, or become good guys during the story, or, at least, improve somewhat. Creating a well-rounded character is an interesting process, and, by the time you’ve written several books about them, you’ll feel like you know them well – or you should!

An Introduction to TC Southwell’s Writing

Remember each first book in her series is permanently free so you’ll have a great opportunity to get to know TC and her writing.

queen'sbladeA doomed kingdom, a young queen’s sacrifice and a killer who will bring an empire to its knees… In a world where men share kindred with beasts, an ageless seer predicts a child who will end the Endless War. One man is the instrument who will change fate. He will usher in a time of strife and pain that will live in legend, and forever bear his name… the time of the Queen’s Blade.

cyberchroniclesWhen Queen Tassin is forced to flee her kingdom on the backwater planet of Omega V, she has no idea that the strange warrior who helps her is a cyborg; the deadliest hi-tech killing machine ever created. Her world has forgotten the technology that almost destroyed it, but then a freak accident damages the micro-supercomputer that controls Sabre, and he is free to take charge of his destiny…

demonlordSeven blue wards have imprisoned the Black Lord in the Underworld for aeons. Now he has stolen a human child and made him a mortal god. After eighteen years of torturous training, Bane sets forth to break the wards with aid of a dark army. The Demon Lord will release Arkonen and destroy the Overworld unless an innocent young girl can turn him from his savage path…

slaveempireAlien hunters invade a dying Earth in search of a saviour, and an ancient prophecy predicts a golden child who will save a galactic empire. A mysterious black ship is Rayne’s guide and a masked outlaw known as the Shrike her guardian. Others want to slay her and prevent the prophecy from coming true. In the midst of two great empires’ strife, the Shrike holds the power to save or destroy her.

brokenworldMujar do not use their powers for good or evil; they simply exist, immortal and apparently purposeless. The mounted warriors are known as the Black Riders, but no one knows where they come from or why they seem bent on exterminating every man, woman and child. Talsy uses her father’s knowledge to trap the Mujar with gold, which has an odd effect on his kind. Her father intends to throw him in a Pit, from which he will be unable to escape.

Talsy does not believe the Mujar deserves such a fate, so she frees him and begs him to take her with him on his journey. He agrees, and they set off across Shamarese, continuing his quest to find an old hermit’s lost son. There is far more at stake than Talsy realises, however, and she has innocently stumbled upon the last free Mujar, who has the power to decide the fate of her race…

Purchase links:

Author Bio: T. C. Southwell was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the Seychelles with her family when she was a baby. She spent her formative years exploring the islands – mostly alone. Naturally, her imagination flourished and she developed a keen love of other worlds. The family travelled through Europe and Africa and, after the death of her father, settled in South Africa. T. C. Southwell has written over thirty novels and five screenplays. Her hobbies include motorcycling, horse riding and art.

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TC’s Blog | Website |  E-mail | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Dates and Stops August 1-14th, 2013

Thursday, 1 August
Tour kick-off: author showcase, hosted by Glynis Smy and Fireblade Publishers

Friday, 2 August
How to Create Good Characters, hosted by Rebekah Grow

Saturday, 3 August
Author & character interview, hosted by Nicole Hill

Sunday, 4 August
Showcasing The Queen’s Blade fantasy series, hosted by Chris Graham

Monday, 5 August
World Building, hosted by Pippa Jay, and showcasing The Queen’s Blade on Glynis Smy’s Virtual Bookcase

Tuesday, 6 August
Familiar’s Relationships with Humans in The Queen’s Blade, hosted by James L. Wilber, and author showcases, hosted by Mathew Reuther and Louise Blankenship

Wednesday, 7 August
Creating Original Fantasy Creatures, hosted by Michelle Louring

Thursday, 8 August
How to Write a Good Fight Scene, hosted by Fireblade Publishers

Friday, 9 August
Why Reading is Important, hosted by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa

Saturday, 10 August
Inside the Mind of an Author, hosted by Tracy Falbe

Sunday, 11 August
How to Deal with Book Pirates & author interview, hosted by the Indie Author Network

Monday, 12 August
Literary Characters TC Southwell would Date, Dump or Marry, hosted by Nicole Hill

Tuesday, 13 August
Tips for New Writers, hosted by The Independent Bookworm

Wednesday, 14 August
Extract from The Broken World fantasy series, hosted by the Indie Author Network, and The Magic Systems in Southwell’s Books, hosted by Marsha A. Moore


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2 Responses

  1. Interesting post with some excellent advice for other authors!

  2. Good point about character development! It’s very important to have a character evolve or readers will soon get tired of them or find them two-dimensional.
    And I couldn’t agree more on anti-heroes! My favorite character is my series’ anti-hero, and I couldn’t get through the first 14 chapters of the second book quickly enough, since he wouldn’t appear in them.
    Great post! Looking forward to the one tomorrow!

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