Characteristics of Your Characters

iStock_000015227768XSmallWhen I sat down to write this morning, I intended to write about Dialogue of Convenience. I guess I’ll get to that some day soon, but here’s what I wrote.  I guess the topic is What characteristics your characters should have…

Some people in our lives are boring. They have little to say, but they say it anyway. The most boring are those who tell dull stories but tell them over and over. These are not your characters… please don’t make them your characters.

Characteristics of your Characters…

1. They will not be boring.  They will not speak just to fill the reader in on a bit of information he/she needs to make the story make sense.  No, your characters will always talk to the other characters rather than speak to you. And they will say interesting things that relate to the story and move  the story along.

2. You don’t always have to have (or even want) goody-two-shoes characters. In fact, it will, of course, be more interesting if they have some flaws. But if they are main characters and have lots and lots of flaws, you must throw in at least a few loveable characteristics — something to make your readers want to cheer for them despite their flaws.

3. Physical characteristics – It’s good to say enough about a character’s physical characteristics for readers to get a glimpse at what they look like. However, don’t make the mistake of describing every little detail. As a reader, one or two things will give me enough information to form my own vision of each character — or as much of a vision as I need or want.

4. Clothing. Some authors describe every character and every article of clothing they wear to the readers.  This description stops the story. So, unless the outfit is important, such as a cape if your main character is a super hero, give us less detail and more action. The same is true of the setting of the story.  Don’t describe every piece of furniture or every tree and bush in the yard. We don’t care and we’ll put the story down as fast as we can if you keep stopping the story to put in all these details.

There you have it.  A quick list of tips on how to treat your characters.  More later, but since I got off track from my original topic, I thought I might as well run with it and give you some practical advice today.




About loubelcher

I'm a freelance artist and writer. I enjoy anything whimsical and my art and writing generally concentrate on the lighter side of life.
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