characters and conflict

by Collette Anderson
(Chicago, IL )

Question: How can I keep my characters and their conflicts interesting for my readers?


Answer: Start by making characters interesting to you. Really interesting. So interesting, you absolutely have to tell their story, even if it takes every evening and weekend for the next year or more.

There are lots of other tricks and techniques on this site and others, but nothing trumps your own passion.

Also, try to make them interesting in different ways. Interesting on the outside, and on the inside. In appearance, in action, in speech, in feeling, in thought. In desire, in love, in victory, in anger, in defeat. In the past and the present. In perspective, in ignorance, in error, in stupidity, in talent.

(Okay, not every character has to be the most interesting person in the world, but your major characters should be unique and intriguing, especially to you.)

As for conflict, unique characters will have some pretty unique interactions, as long as you let them be true to themselves.

Comments for characters and conflict

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Aug 23, 2012
characters
by: Collette

First I would like to say 'THANK YOU" for giving me some of your most needed tips Glen and I am including these into my story.

Now for my question: One of my characters is unattractive and is a physician. Would it be out of the box to have her become a murderer, who has killed her lover for cheating on her. And I discovered this word from Aristole era called, Peripeteia and I love it. This turnaround is what one of my characters is gonna do maybe I should have all of them do a complete bout face. What do you think?

Aug 23, 2012
characters
by: Collette

First I would like to say 'THANK YOU" for giving me some of your most needed tips Glen and I am including these into my story.

Now for my question: One of my characters is unattractive and is a physician. Would it be out of the box to have her become a murderer, who has killed her lover for cheating on her. And I discovered this word from Aristole era called, Peripeteia and I love it. This turnaround is what one of my characters is gonna do maybe I should have all of them do a complete bout face. What do you think?

Aug 27, 2012
Response
by: Glen

Anyone can become a murderer in the right circumstances, even someone who's job is to save lives. Perhaps the fact that she is unattractive makes her jealousy greater - as in, she finds it harder to trust that someone could love her.

In this case, peripeteia would describe the moment when her love turns to hate. (Rather like what happens with Othello.)

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