reality of characters

by Giulia

Question: How can I make my characters into "real" people?

Answer: I'm going to assume you want your characters to "seem" like real people, because that's the best option you have.

There are several steps you can take...

1. Know everything about your character. Many fiction writers feel they should know ten times more about their characters than ever appears in the book. The better you know your character, the easier it is to know how your character will react in every situation, what it will take to motivate them, how they talk, etc.

2. Know all dimensions of your character. What are his wants? What are his emotional needs? How does he think about things? How does he judge himself and others? What actions are his comfort zone? What are his likes, talents, expertise? What does he look like? How does he dress? What's his occupation? What does his home/office/car look like? What's his backstory? Who are his friends and relatives? Etc.

3. Write detailed character sketches addressing all the aspects of the character you can think of.

4. Make the character consistent. Don't, for example, give him a phobia on page 10 that he breaks on page 110 unless you account for the change.

5. Make him unique. Real people have unique traits that distinguish them.

6. Make him believable. The reader should be able to understand why he acts as he does.

Best of luck.

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