Give Your Characters Substance


A great plot line is essential to keep your readers riveted, but pair that with flat, dull, stereotypical characters? Let me tell you, it won’t make for an enjoyable read.

Developing your characters is just as important as developing the plot. You want them to be realistic and believable, regardless of whether they’re human, vampire or fae. You want your readers to be able to connect with the character in someway whether it’s seeing themselves in the character or being able to share in an emotion or experience.

Your character needs a physical description so your readers know how to picture them in their mind, but they also need a personality. Personality is often shown through your character’s voice but also through their actions.  If your character is kicking puppies or helping the homeless, it gives the reader an idea of the kind of person they are.

While you may have some static characters in your story, a main character should be complex, three dimensional. Make your characters realistic by making them unsure, curious, full of anxiety, lust and anger. We don’t always make the right decisions in life and neither will your characters. We learn from our mistakes. So should your characters.

Don’t be scared to have your character’s personality change throughout the story. We all change through experience, but make sure you give a reason why your character goes from happy-go-lucky to bitter and cynical or vise versa. Also don’t think you need to change them back to happy and content.  While readers enjoy happy endings, (heck, so do I!) life doesn’t always deal the best cards and it takes time for people to trust and be happy so don’t feel like everything has to be all good and right with your character at the end of the story.

Make your characters lovable, hate-worthy, comical or cynical. Make them three dimensional, relatable and realistic. Flesh them out and your readers will be drawn in and excited to see what awaits your creations.

How do you make your characters realistic?



5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Good article about building characters « eBook Lovers Co-Op

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