Sep 3, 2014

Characters not Caricatures Guest Post by Mister

Characters not Caricatures
by: Mister JMI

Hey everyone, for those who don’t know who I am, (most likely all of you) I go by Mister JMI and I am the founder of Fictitious Fox Publishing and author of The Glory. The Glory is a fun, funny, exciting, character-driven sci-fi book that I wrote which follows Adam Whitlock and his pursuit to join the US Space Force and become captain of the legendary warship, The Glory. My book is on sale now on Amazon, which you can pick up here. (Shameless plug is shamless.) And now that we have all the formalities and plugs out of the way, let’s get into the subject at hand.
I really wanted to talk about and share my thoughts and approach to creating characters. We’ve all heard the old adage that, there is nothing new under the sun and to an extent, every story has been told with slight variations. I agree with this saying but what separates one story from the next is the characters. A good character can make the same old story that we’ve heard a thousand different times, a thousand different ways sound brand new and fresh. Falling in love with a great characters can make us get so wrapped up in that character’s peril we completely forget that there are 100 pages left in the book or 45 minutes left in the movie and that they are going to be fine.
Unfortunately, we don’t get many great characters in most stories. We get tired, worn, paint-by-numbers archetypes, stereotypes and worst of all, dialogue devices. What I mean by a dialogue device is a“characters” whose sole existence is to just deliver lines, be exposition machines and move the plot along.
When I sat down to write my book I spent a lot of time making sure that I was
creating not only believable, fleshed out, layered characters but my ultimate goal was to create people that you could really believe existed, somebody you could bump into in the street or meet at a party or somebody who you already know. I wanted the reader to know one of my characters so well that he or she would know how the character would react in any scenario.
I achieved this by stopping and putting the plot to the side for a moment and thinking about who these people are. What are their values, hopes and dreams? What’s their philosophy on life, if they even cared to stop and think of one? Where are they from and how were they raised? What makes them laugh, makes them cry, and what would utterly piss them off? Who would they fall in love with?
The next time you sit down to write a book, or movie or whatever your forte is, if you stop and think about who the people that you are putting into the stories are, you’ll have a character and a story that will far outlast you.
….But hey, what do I know? I’m just some prick with stupid hair.
I’d like to thank Serenity for letting me ramble over precious space on her site and you for taking a moment to read it.
(Brace yourselves, plugs are coming)
And if you’d like to hear… more of what I have to say you can find me on Facebook, just look for Mister JMI. Follow me on Twitter (because nobody else is) @misterjmi or simply email me at
Check out my book at
And pick it up on Amazon at