Characters are at the core of your story and to make your reader care about your world, characters need to be at the core and well written so that readers can invest in them and the conflicts that they face.
- Give your characters an authentic voice
Characters like people, all have their own way of talking, acting and being in the world. The best characters are those who have their own distinct personality and can stand out from the crowd. If you’re writing a main protagonist you don’t want them to get lost in the sea of your background characters, you want them to be able to shine and show why they’re the main character in the story. Voice can come through in a number of ways, whether it’s how someone acts or how they speak, by working on developing this uniqueness your characters will be more memorable in the long term.
- What’s your character’s personality?
This is similar to voice, but personality directs how a character acts in a certain situation. Their past will make up their present which will inform their future. It’s a good idea to do some background writing on your characters so you can get to know them and what they’ve been through. Sometimes doing this as a free-writing exercise helps as it will bring around things that may not have previously been considered.
- What are your character’s views on the world?
This will likely be determined by the character’s backstory, but when writing a protagonist or antagonist it’s important to consider what led them to their current situation. What beliefs do they have? Are these their own or have they been ingrained into them by someone else? Beliefs can be a strong driving force behind a character’s motivation so it’s important to take this into account so your characters are strong in their foundation.
- Who is in your character’s life?
A main character is supported by a number of people, who are these characters that are with your protagonist or antagonist? How did they meet? Why are they friends or allies? What are their backgrounds and personalities like? Supporting characters can either make or break a lead character’s story so it’s important to think about how they all work together in the story you’re writing.