Writing Compelling Characters
Okay, today is the day of Elana Johnson’s great blogging experiment. Don’t know who Elana is? Shame on you. Get over to her blog and find out, because she’s like nineteen different kinds of awesome–AND she’s a WriteOnCon girl. What more could you want than that?
And so, today we’re all blogging on the same topic. That means it’s time for me to tell you how to write a compelling character.
Except I can’t.
“Wait? What?” you ask.
That’s right, internet. I can’t tell you how to write a compelling character, because here’s the sich:
Compelling* characters have to come from what you know–not me. Basically, it’s all about using real life traits you see in people you interact with-and then give them a motivation for being that way.
Okay, for example–does the girl behind the burrito counter wear way too much makeup? Well, write her into your book, but make it so she wears leather mini-skirts and crooked lip liner–because she moonlights as a stripper to pay the bills even though she has a secret desire to be the best damn burrito chef on the planet. (And now I will never look at a burrito the same way again.)
In real life, people aren’t all that interesting until you get to know them, so that’s what you need to do with your characters. Don’t bore us with the boring generic details. It’s your job to sprinkle just enough awesome in there to make me think your characters and I could be friends.