Depressing Characters

by Rosie

Hi, my question is how do I make my character sound more upbeat and less depressing? I want my story to be aimed at about nine to fourteen year olds and I don't want the main character to sound depressing, but I'm not sure how. Think a little less Divergent and a little more Percy Jackson.

Answer: I think you have to look more closely at (or perhaps explain better) why your character comes across as depressing.

First, is the character depressed or do you feel the character makes the reader depressed? Or is the character just a cynic or a realist, or someone coping with a bad situation in a realistic way?

At any rate, consider how you want your character to respond to her situation and problems. Will she cling to certain values in a bad situation? Will she strive to achieve her goals, even if it means stepping outside her comfort zone? Does she judge others and herself too harshly, or should you let her go easier on people? How might she cope with her feelings in a way other than becoming defeated by them?

Of course, you want your character to seem authentic to the reader. But humans have many different ways of coping with problems. A little shift in your character's attitude might accomplish your aims.

Best of luck.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Character Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero