Characters are complicated. For some people they come easily, for others they’re more difficult. But no matter how easy or hard they are to create, characters are always complicated.
So much goes into shaping a character’s personality, his life, and the way he thinks. We strive to create the perfect character, wanting him to be as memorable as the characters we read about in our favorite books.
But while we work hard to perfect our characters, it’s often hard to figure out everything that must go into making our character memorable. Today, I’m going to share four things all characters need to be memorable.
1. A Goal
Our characters must have a goal. In fact, this is one of the most important things a character needs. We have to figure out our character’s deepest desire. This desire—this goal—will drive the story forward. After all, the whole point of the story is to follow the character as he tries to achieve his goal.
Maybe your character’s goal is to prove himself to others. Maybe his deepest desire is to become powerful. Maybe it’s to save someone he loves. It could be anything, but the main thing to remember is that without a goal, there is no character.
This is what drives your character toward achieving his goal. The best way to find your character’s motivation is to ask yourself, “What is at stake if my character doesn’t achieve his goal?”
For example, let’s say your character’s goal is to save a loved one. What’s at stake? What will happen if he doesn’t save his loved one? His loved one will lose his life. This stake will motivate the character to save his loved one.
Without motivation, there’s no reason for the character to want his goal. A character can’t want something just to want it. There’s got to be a deeper reason. The character must have strong motives.
3. Deep Backstory
Your character’s backstory is necessary to the story. After all, the character’s backstory is what influences his decisions. This is often what encourages his goal.
For example, if a character’s desire is to prove himself to others, he might have this desire because he made a terrible mistake in his past and is now looked upon with disappointment. Thus, backstory plays a vital role in the development of your characters.
4. A Relatable Personality
If you want your character to be memorable, he’s got to be relatable. If your character isn’t relatable, no reader is going to like him. The easiest way to make your character relatable is to make him realistic. Don’t make him do things people wouldn’t really do. That said, the character’s desire should be one living people often have. With a realistic goal and realistic motives for wanting his goal, a reader can easily relate to him.
I’ve learned that the best way to make your character relatable is to give him flaws. No one is perfect. All people are flawed in numerous ways, and if your character doesn’t have flaws, no reader will be able to relate to him.
Just like when giving your character realistic goals, you must give your character realistic flaws. Maybe your character is prideful and has a hard time loving others. Maybe he doesn’t respect authority and does only what he wants. Whatever his flaws are, make them realistic. And when your character has realistic goals, motives, and flaws, your readers will easily relate to him.
I hope these four things I’ve mentioned will help you when creating the characters for your story. With a goal, strong motivation, a deep backstory, and a relatable personality, your character will be on his way to becoming a character that your readers will never forget.
Writing is one of Bella’s favorite things to do, along with running and reading. At fourteen, she’s been writing for about six years and hopes to someday be a published author. Her writing projects include a novel and writing on her blog. You can find her blog here, where she writes poetry, shares tips on writing, does book reviews, and more.
She’s also celebrating one year of blogging, so be sure to stop by and congratulate her!
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