Creating realistic characters
By Rachel Ann Nunes
Try writing a character sketch and a short background for every character
in your novel/story. Remember to make this detailed as possible and then
stick to it. If you do have to change something, remember to make the change
throughout the entire novel. And also remember that you won't use everything
on your sketch, but using one will make them feel like real characters!
You must feel deeply about your characters for others to do so. He/she
must be likeable.
Make your character larger than lifeand yet believable!
Yet don't give your character all qualities you admire. They can't be
a rainforest activist, a nuclear physicist, a social worker, a popular speaker,
and a champion of children, animals, and old people. Get the idea? Choose
one or two solid talents and stick to these throughout the novel.
Character must have weaknesses and make mistakes. And in most novels
the characters will grow and change over the course of the story. This is
not necessarily the case with adventure novels where the action is the story.
Do not include character's background unless it is vital to the plot.
Choose your names carefully.
Main characters should be active, not passive. Remember that at some point
she will take charge of the story/action.
Use dialog to reveal characters' traits and views, as well as inner thoughts
and actions. Make sure dialog is appropriate to age, gender, and cultural
Don't step out of character!
Use powerful verbs instead of descriptive words.
Motivationmake sure you know what it is and why they do what they do.
How is character perceived by others? Not everyone will love your character.
Character does not have to receive the cake AND the icing in the end.
Does your character have too much? You do not need to resolve everything
in exactly the best possible scenario.
Name (and reason for name):
Frequently used expressions:
Frequently used facial expression or other physical gesture:
Main goal (dream) at this point in time (will likely change over course of
Place of residence (city, house, etc.):
Worst past experience:
Best past experience:
Habits (bad and good):
Any other information: