How to Make Your Characters Believable
by Lucas Heath
Never being into sports has provided me with time “on the sidelines” and opportunities to observe what’s going on around me. Since I was quite young I’ve watched and studied others and learned why they do the things they do.
Years later, I am really good at predicting people’s actions. I understand how some people think and know how to relate to them. It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to become a psychiatrist, but that’s not the direction I’m heading.
Anyone can write a story with decent characters. However, to have characters that truly captivate the audience, a writer needs to be able to get into each character’s mind, know their history, how they react and why. Consider where they are from: city or country, what culture, what land, or what world. Do they have an accent? Does their dialogue betray their homeland? This is background that needs to be developed, even if a character’s past is never revealed in a story, as it will affect the character on the whole.
Dialogue is very important; it should flow naturally and not be stilted. The words need to be appropriate for your character in every situation. After I write, I read the words out loud. As I impersonate each character – even adapting appropriate accents – I am listening to see if what is written fits with the character and if the words flow effortlessly.
If you want to write a story with exaggerated characters, like those on the television series Psych, go for it! I, however, prefer my characters to be realistic. For the most part, characters that people can relate to are powerful to a successful story. In that regard, it’s easier to draw the reader into the story and get them captivated. Even bad stories with great characters can hook readers.
Remember to explore the minds of those you write about. In a sense, try to become them, understand them. I’ve adapted an old saying and use it as a guideline for stories: “Don’t write about a character until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Avoid writing characters that have no personality and are boring; make them three-dimensional so that they can be seen in your readers’ minds! Get to know them intimately. Make their life an adventure worth sharing. When you truly know who you are writing about, then you can make a good story great!
Amazon bestseller - Teen/YA Literature and Fiction
“Imagine the unimaginable.”
That was the mantra of young prodigy Hector Chevas’s mentor in architectural design, Gellini. But even Gellini couldn’t imagine the horrors that his prize student and adopted son would fill Suburbia’s new Heartland Mall with to wreak revenge on those who killed Gellini and murdered Hector’s only friends. “Black Friday” was never blacker.
But Hector couldn’t imagine that, in the middle of his deathly rampage, an “angel” from his past would re-appear into his life; wild-child Janey, whose life he’d saved years before, and who’d never forgotten her promise to “always love him…for reals.” But was that love strong enough now to learn the unimaginable truth; to call Hector’s “dead” soul back to life and resurrect him from his mad plunge into oblivion?
MALLED is a story filled with tragedy, terror, raw emotion, unspeakable horrors, and, above all, the awesome power of ferocious, undying love. Go for it. Get into it. Dare to “imagine the unimaginable.”
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Genre – NeoGothic Horror / Thriller
Rating – R for violence & language
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