Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Writing Compelling Characters

There have been books written that have less-than-thrilling plots and those that have high-action, never-let-up plots. But the one thing in all those books that pushes them over the line of success is their characters. The characters reach inside us and never let go, pulling us along on their journey to the point where we feel what they feel as they experience whatever is in their path.

Everyone says that characters have to be human - complete with emotions and reactions and yes, even flaws. And I 100% agree. But I also think there's an element to characters that humans typically don't have that draws a reader in - their ability to say and do what we all only wish we could.

So my advice on creating a compelling character is to make them better than us. Make them stronger, weaker, more in-tune, more capable, nicer, meaner...you get the idea: xaggerate their humanity. Your character needs to feel things and express things and experience things in a way that we would either a) love to or b) hate to. The person reading your story wants to root for your character (or despise your villain)...and you want that person to imagine themselves in your story. Having a character who exemplifies humanity in every way will certainly achieve that.

But this is just my opinion...what do you think?

1 comment:

Jordan Dane said...

Nice nuance to character development, Jamie. I like your post.

I always say my characters are braver than I could ever be. We give our creations obstacles & conflict so they can rise above, justifying their starring role.

Thanks for your post.