3 Tips for Writing Great Characters in Fiction

Alright, “great” might be stretch – this is The Bin after all – but at least develop characters that don’t suck and that stand out! As you know, or don’t know, I’m a big fan of creative writing and character creation. It’s practically all I do when I’m supposed to be writing an actual story. It’s a problem, I know, but it’s addicting. That said, not many people can create good characters – looking at you, Hollywood – so it’s a good idea to get a crash course on the subject! Continue reading to learn more!

Make Your Character a Human Being

If you’re writing about humans, or beings that experience whatever you consider humanity, you need to give your character some flaws and quirks. Your characters cannot be perfect, no one is perfect. Perfection spits in the face of humanity and flaws are what make you unique, interesting, and human. This is where Hollywood fails, horribly. Many of their characters don’t have relatable flaws – loving your friends too much, being too nice, being too driven, etc are not flaws that make a character unique. That just makes them even more perfect.

You need to give them something that truly makes them stand out as a human being – something that are an obstacle for the plot or the character’s development. Something that makes them do things against their better judgement, works against them, etc.

Woman writing in a book

Give Your Character a Belief or Drive

Your character needs to have something to believe in, something that sets up their motivation and provides them with principles and morals. These help the reader understand your character’s decisions, what they are striving for, what this story will potentially be about. These don’t have to be accepted, or appealing, beliefs and morals, but they need to be there. We need to believe in what your character does, they need to make us believe.

This helps us get behind a character, evil or good, and that’s always an amazing experience. When you can get your audience to root for the villain, you definitely set the bar for creative writing.

Utilize Minor Characters Properly

Your secondary characters are not there just to be comic relief, hype-men and women, or to showcase how great your main character is. This is commonly done in many Hollywood movies, TV-shows, animated series, etc, and it’s a poor usage of these characters. They should have beliefs, histories, flaws, personalities, all equal to your main character. The only difference is, they’re there to make your star more than a passive role of good or evil in the world – they’re designed to get the plot moving, push the world forward.

You shouldn’t relegate them to nothing more than a mindless joke-character, or a easily handled pawn, just because they’re not your main focus. They’re part of the engine of your story, helping the major components – your star – push the plot forward to its destination.

Read More: Why You Should Allow Your Kids to Game in Quarantine

Overall, writing characters can be difficult if you don’t keep some basics in mind. These are just three of many tips you can employ, and I might take a look at some others at a later date. For now, I hope you enjoyed what I wrote and I’ll see you in the trash again soon!

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