There are many things that go into writing a novel. Setting, theme, story arc, etc., etc. Perhaps the one thing that can easily make or break a novel is the quality of its characters. Are they relatable? Are they flawed? Do we know enough about them? Can we see their motivation? Do they develop throughout the story? All of this can seem overwhelming, but never fear! We have 5 tips for writing better characters. See what your characters are missing!
People aren’t perfect. In fact, that’s one of only a few things we all have in common – we all make mistakes, and we all have flaws (that we’re hopefully working on). So why then are we so hesitant to write in flaws for our protagonists? A lot of young writers think that by adding a flaw, they are weakening the character. They want the protagonist to be pure good. But, in reality, this actually makes your character unrelatable. Readers will not trust a character that never messes up. On the other hand, you can’t just write in a character flaw at the last minute and expect it to be good enough. Novel editor, Ellen Brock gives some amazing tips on how to write a character flaw in this video!
As writers, we’ve all heard the advice to write realistic characters. But this can be confusing, especially when we see characters all the time who have skills that don’t exist in real life, or outrageous personality traits, or are just straight up fantasy – like fire-breathing dragons and Hobbits. So where does the realism come into play for these kinds of books? We can certainly have fictional characters with exaggerated traits, but the key is to have them make sense within the world you’ve built. Get some great advice from an editor on believable characters right here!