What a Character!

Another Wednesday – so let’s get to it.

First, the weather report from Central Pennsylvania. It’s a chilly 6 degrees and slightly overcast. Snow still covers the ground from last week’s storm. Typical Pennsylvania weather for January, but never fear. April is coming! Okay, now on to our thoughts for the day.

A great story doesn’t happen without great characters. Whether you are an outliner or a pantser, you must have well-defined characters. If you are into outlining, perhaps the best way to get to know and develop your character is by interviewing him/her. Dig into their backstory, future dreams, what makes them tick. If you’re a pantser, your protagonist will naturally reveal himself as you write, but he still must be well-developed.

Regardless of which way you go, be sure your character is flawed and imperfect. Perfect characters have no place in fiction. The obstacles she faces should change her but not perfect her. The more challenges he faces, the better. Only the toughest challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds transform characters and compel readers to care.

What drives fiction is conflict. Make sure there is plenty of it – and make sure there is no easy way out for your main character. Make the odds almost insurmountable, but in the end, he must overcome them and win.

Just some things to think about as you write. Let me know your thoughts and I’ll see you next week.



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