Characters are extremely important in a story. Characters make the story intriguing for the reader and drive the plot forward.
Here are some note-worthy points to think about when creating a character (or few) for your story that your reader will love!
- Make your reader connect with the character
Fictional characters aren’t real (I’m sure you know this already!) but readers connect with them as if they are real people.
But why do readers connect with them? This can be because…
- The character has struggles the reader can relate to
- The reader feels sorry for the character, like Harry Potter, because he is an orphan
- The character is the hero that you and your reader want to be
- The character has interesting character flaws
When creating a character, think about adding in some of the points above. When the readers connect with your character, you know you’ve done a good job.
2. Give your character flaws
Why do readers like characters with flaws?
Flaws make the character more interesting for the reader, and realistic as no one is perfect.
Try not to create a character that is flawless, they cannot go wrong. This is not that intriguing for the reader.
Ideas for character flaws:
- Obsessed with something or someone
- Dependent (opposite of independent)
Some writers want their characters to be perfect, but this doesn’t make them interesting or exciting.
Give your character a memorable, unique personality that stands out. This also makes them lovable and realistic.
3. Ask yourself these four questions
Questions to ask yourself about your character:
- Does your character have a goal?
- Did you do your research on your character? For example, if your character is from another country, do you know how they will talk, what they’ll wear or how they’ll behave? Or if your character is ill, do you know a lot about that sickness to write about it?
- Are you creating a character you would like to read about?
- Are your characters believable?
It’s really important to ask yourself these questions!
4. When describing your character…
- Avoid using clichés
Don’t describe your character using words or sentences that are commonly used.
Her gaze was as cold as snow
Ice flickered in her eyes as she glared
2. Making your sentences more descriptive
He was warm and stuffy.
This is kind of okay, but many writers will probably use this. You want to make it more descriptive, so it appears in the reader’s mind as a vivid, clear image.
He felt like a loaf in an oven.
I didn’t mention that he was feeling warm, but the reader will imagine a loaf in the oven, which is quite hot, and instantly understand that he is feeling warm.
Try to make the description exciting, something the reader will savour instead of skip.
5. Avoid stereotypes
Try to avoid stereotypes in characterisation.
E.g. All old people are weak
All French teachers are strict
- Don’t create too, too many characters and introduce them all in one go, this can confuse the reader
- Try to create a unique character, this makes them more lovable. For example, to make your reader feel sympathetic towards them, they don’t have to be orphans
In your description, try to use some of these…
- Metaphors – as strong as a bull
- Similes – the snow sparkled like white sugar
- Emotive language – this is the term used to describe words that make us feel a particular emotion. Like, she was sullen and skeletal. These make us produce powerful feelings.
Thank you for reading, if you want to learn much more on creating lovable characters, take this course from the Penable Academy:
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO HEAD TO THE COURSE.