Whenever talking about the best books or even movies out there, there is one characteristic that always stands out. The best stories have the very best characters. Roger Wolfson was quoted as saying that it is impossible for someone to relate to a story if they do not relate to a character. This is why he mentions the following as the most important character writing tips that every single writer needs to know.
Characters Have To Be Humans
In order for someone to relate to a character, he/she needs to instantly stand out as a relatable individual. Chances are, the writing is about humans and the truth is that humans are not perfect. There are always flaws and quirks that exist. With this in mind, it is very easy to understand why people do not relate to a character that is perfect.
As a character is created, it needs to have some negative aspects to appear human. This is one point that few writers understand and then they wonder why people do not relate.
Characters Need Backstories
So many written stories start in the middle of an action. This is not a problem but in the event that there is no backstory that appears in the writing, relating is close to impossible. Does the character have a family? Are there troubles that appeared during upbringing? Why is the character invested in saving the environment? This is the type of questions that have to be asked in order to create a good backstory that will be appreciated by the reader.
Characters Have To Believe In Something
The character of Gemma Monroe in “Inherit The Bones” is memorable in part because she is driven to find justice for victims of a crime that is decades-old. There is a set of morals or principals that help the reader to quickly understand the character’s motivation. Such morals or principals do not need to be accepted at a universal rate in order to become appealing. A great example of this is Hannibal Lector. People are drawn to this terrible individual when he believes in the activities of Clarice Starling.
Minor Characters Challenge Main Characters
It is impossible to write a compelling and attractive story without the addition of minor characters. It is the secondary characters that help to move stories forward and highlight important things about the story’s main characters. Writers need to utilize minor characters in order to create compelling situations and dialogues. These small roles may seem like nothing, but they create life.
Cliches should be avoided unless they present an important part of the story. For writers, it is very easy to fall into the trap of using clichés like the timid character that is a librarian or the shy individual that cannot talk to a girl because he is an introvert. Why not challenge the cliché and create a librarian that is very bold and outspoken? Few people expect this and can easily create a very interesting situation that the reader would be drawn into.