Character building for writers
One of the hardest parts about writing fiction is being able to step out of yourself and create characters that feel authentic to your readers. Here are five ways to help get your characters right.
- Know every detail of your character’s life. What is your character’s birthday? Where did he or she go to school? Does your character have siblings? What, if any, traumatic experiences have they had in life? How many times has your character moved in life? Favorite color? Favorite food? Favorite flavor of milk shake? Favorite book? Favorite music? Favorite restaurant? Favorite television show? Favorite movie?
- Know how your character speaks. Accent? Swearing? Short, clipped sentences or overly verbose? Favorite sayings? Do they joke around or are they serious?
- Know what your character does with their time and who they spend time with. Who are your character’s best friends? Who do they work with? What do they like to do for fun on weekends? What things do they feel obligated to do in life but don’t truly enjoy? What does a typical workday look like? What does a typical weekend include?
- Know how your character dresses. How does your character dress? Do they spend time making sure their clothes are not wrinkled and look presentable or do they grab the cleanest thing from the laundry pile and call it good? Does your character have a sense of fashion? Can they afford to buy anything they want to wear or do they shop at big box stores or thrift shops?
- Know what they drive and where they live. What kind of car does your character drive? Is this their first car or have they had others? Did they buy it new or used? Where does your character live? Do they own or rent? Is this the first home they have owned? Can they pay the mortgage easily or is it a struggle?
Another key to good character building is to be sure there is a different “feel” and “sound” to each of your characters in your book. If all of your characters sound the same and think the same, your book won’t seem authentic.
Good characters can sweep you into a story and make you get lost in the book. Keep working on your character building!
Lori Ryan writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She is frequently ranked in the top 100 romantic suspense authors on Amazon.com. To find her work, visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CFUKD1E.
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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – R
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.
Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!