Making Your Characters Interesting

Making Your Characters Interesting

by Adam Huddleston

So you want people to read your story, right?  And your story has characters, right?  

Right.

Well, why would a reader dig through hundreds of pages of your tale if they are bored?  Reader’s read for several reasons, but the primary motive for them reading fiction is an interest in the plot and characters.  So, it is imperative that you create interesting people to populate your work.

1.  Make well-rounded characters.  Give everyone strengths and weaknesses.  Make some endearing to the reader and others detestable. Now, don’t go overboard and wear the reader down by explaining every backstory on every single character, but fill out the main cast.

2.  Be sure the reader understands the goals of the protagonist and antagonist.  Make the goals strong and clear and make sure the reader knows when/if they reach those goals.  As an avid reader, I can tell you that it is aggravating to spend time moving through a novel only to have a nebulous ending.

3.  Make the characters relatable.  This admonition is similar to the first, but it is important.  Even if your hero is a muscular, brave, non-human, and you are not, make some part of their personality similar to the what a typical reader’s would be.  The reader wants to be a part of the adventure, and will feel closer to it if they can relate to one or more of the main characters.

I hope these rules help in some way.  Happy writing!   

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