How to Create Interesting Characters

By Christine Colorado on January 12, 2019

How to Create Interesting Characters

1.) Learn who you character is by doing a character sketch.

External Things

Where were they born? How old are they? Are the parents still alive? Who were they?

How did they influence his life? Did he have any friends? Who were they? Was he rich? Poor?

How did the money situation affect his life? Who are his friends now? Does he have any enemies? Why? Who are they? Does he have any disabilities? What are they? Do they influence his life decisions? Does he have an accent or speech impediment? How educated is he? Where did he go to school? Does he work? In his chosen field? Where does he live? What kind of house does he have? What kind of car does he drive? What does he do to relax? Is he healthy?

Internal Things

What does he want or dream of more than anything else? What is he willing to do for it?

Why? What is he afraid of? His biggest fear? What does he believe is his greatest accomplishment / failure? What does he have absolute belief in? What would he die for?

Knowing your character inside out will help bring him to life on the page.

2.) Give your character a life that is worth knowing, but has some flaws in it. Even your antagonist can have redeeming qualities. No one is all bad or evil. Readers will have trouble relating to a whiny heroine or hero. Remember, no one is perfect, not even your protagonist.

3.) Give your character a goal readers can identify with ( fighting evil, searching for love, looking for justice)

4.) Use your character’s eyes and senses throughout your novel to pull your reader into the story. Describe scenes as they would see them. A glorious dawn, a star filled night,a rich house, a poor shack, show these through them.

5.) Use a secondary character to introduce aspects of your main character that are not known to the reader. Use them to show a kindness or hatred from the past.

6.) Make your character larger than life, give him interesting quirks and habits,but never make him perfect. Perfection is boring.

7.) Use dialogue and actions to reveal more sides of your character. Show that they can love and hate and are empathetic toward other characters. Even knowing they are not perfect, they can still be likable. Readers can appreciate this.

8.) Don’t forget to include a sub-plot that lets the reader see a side of him that could be unexpected but is still appreciated.