By: C.S. Lakin
Think about what makes you interested or drawn to certain people. What qualities of theirs pull you in? Is it a sense of humor? Some interesting hobby or skill? Engaging style of talking or fascinating facial expressions or gestures?
Every character in your novel should have something about him that makes him interesting. It takes some work to create original, fresh, unpredictable characters, but it’s worthwhile to do. If you don’t want to spend an evening at a party among boring people, how can you expect your readers to be willing to spend ten to twenty hours of their life “hanging out” with your boring characters? We owe it to our readers to take the time to give them a unique cast of characters.
Real People Are Wholly Individual
Real people are influenced by their upbringing. Depending on their socioeconomic environment, ethnicity and subculture, geographic roots, education, and many other factors, people will not only vary in the way they move, think, and talk—they will acquire individual mannerisms and
quirks and habits.
Listen to people sometime at a coffee shop or a park. Give yourself the assignment to notice these little individual flairs that seem to define each person’s personality. Be creative and imagine a history and present profile for each person as they walk by the park bench you are sitting on. Pay attention. Notice what stands out.
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