What a Character!

Welcome to my Wednesday – and yours. Here’s hoping you had a great week! The weather for today? Pouring down rain. At least maybe it will cool down a bit. It’s been very humid lately.

So, let’s talk about characters this week. Nothing holds a reader’s attention like an intriguing plot. But truth be told, the plot won’t be intriguing if the characters aren’t believable, if they aren’t three dimensional.

Give them a name that fits the story. If you set your story in the present, you probably wouldn’t give them the name Bertha or Gertrude. Nothing wrong with those names, but mostly, they were popular in a different era. If you’re writing a piece of historical fiction, you no doubt would not use names like Paisley or Nova. Perhaps Eleanor or Grace would fit better.

Be clear about their age. Is he an elderly man or a teen girl? That sounds a little obvious, I would think, but all too often, age can be confusing and the plot ruined, especially in a short story.

Describe them physically. We need to picture your character in our mind, but please show, don’t tell. Use action and dialogue to give us that clear picture.

What about backstory? Think about their hometown, their type of home or neighborhood. How about relationships, either past or present?

What kind of job do they have? How do they dress? What kind of friends do they hang with? How about their religion? Hobbies? Favorite sports? How do they perceive themselves? How do others perceive them? Are they humorous? Serious? Fearful? Self-confident?

Don’t apply these thoughts to your protagonist alone. Build a life-like backing cast as well.

Okay. We’re done until next week. See you then.


7 thoughts on “What a Character!

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