While I’m on vacation I thought I’d leave you with a couple of blogs so you don’t completely forget me!
Every couple of days in the writer/reader community on social media the following question is posed: Who is your favorite character and why?
We all aspire to have a character or two that gets mentioned in every one of these threads. How does one create characters who stick with readers, you ask? If you google the question, you will get the same answer phrased a million different ways. But, I believe there are several things which come together to make life-like and lovable, heroes/heroines and villains we can love to hate. Most of them are not covered on these lists.
If you’re like me you love to people watch. Every person in the world has some habit or idiosyncrasy which makes them unique. Remember in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when Jane realized the other spy was John? She saw him wiggle his leg in a video and recognized him immediately. These things make people interesting to look at and endear them to our hearts, whether we know it or not. Does your hero chew on his thumb? Does your villain bite his lip right before he tells a lie?
You can tell tons about a person by the way others react to him/her. Does your heroine adore your hero? Or does the sight of him make her skin crawl? Your readers will react to all of characters’ feelings about each other, so craft these thoughts carefully.
What goes on in your MC’s head? I find the thoughts and questions which formulate inside a characters mind really tie me to them. Make sure you sprinkle some of this inner dialogue in your story so your readers know precisely how he/she thinks.
When you are writing dialogue make sure you take into consideration the players background, accent, and geographical location. Read it aloud and ask yourself if that person would really say those things.
Finally, have the character achieve some emotional or intellectual growth throughout the story. The person doesn’t even have to be aware they have changed. However, within the paragraphs of your tale you can illustrate the differences in their reactions and ideals from the beginning of the story to the end.
Hope these suggestions help!
Monique O’Connor James