How to make a character more real to a reader

Jean's Writing

Now that you’ve decided on a terrific name for your characters, what next?

Real or imagined. Memoir or fiction. Doesn’t matter. Same rules apply.

Turn flat into fabulous!

The characters must come alive in a manuscript and jump from the page into a reader’s heart. If not, they stop reading.

So how do we go about breathing life into these flawed creatures?

  • Each character must have a defining description. Something unique to them.
  • Make comparisons and/or contrasts with another character. Plain Jane is best friends with Fanny Fashionista.
  • Give them something to collect, obsess over, or talent.
  • Everyone has a pet peeve, even a small one. Don’t leave it out of the story.
  • What’s in her purse, pocket, car, closet? What will she not leave home without?
  • Don’t forget her diary, journal or the divorce decree. Search out and include legal and private documents.
  • How does your character talk? Texas twang, Southern…

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