Think of a book that made you care, that had you so invested in the outcome that you wanted to cry or shout or throw the book when things didn’t go the right way. When you think of that book, what is it that you think about? The setting? The plot? Or the characters?
For me, a good plot keeps me hooked, but a good character makes me feel.
Anne Of Green Gables. The Hunger Games. The gang from Harry Potter.
Would any of these books have such lasting and widespread success if the characters didn’t feel so real to the readers? I don’t think they would. Because these characters feel like someone we know. A friend. An ally. Someone we care about.
So, what is it about these characters that draws us in? What makes them feel so real?
I believe it’s their quirks. Their vulnerability. Their flaws. They have insecurities, they doubt themselves, they feel anger and shame and sorrow. But they also feel happiness and joy – just like a real person would.
Making sure your characters are well-rounded is what brings them to life.
So give them flaws. Make them doubt themselves. Make them feel and think things we’ve all felt and thought before, something the reader can identify with and have an, “I’ve felt that way too,” moment.
Here are some articles to check out if you want to some writing tips: