- A character is the representation of a person. My guess is you knew that.
- The reader should be able to identify with and care about the characters in the sense that the characters seem real to the reader.
- The characters must do something, and what they do must seem reasonable for them to have done it.
Introduction of Characters
- Characters should be introduced early in the story.
- The more often a character is mentioned or appears, the more significance the reader will attach to the character.
- The main character should be introduced before setting so that the setting can be introduced from the point of view of the character.
Nature of Characters
- The nature of characters can be brought out through minimal description and the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of the characters.
- The writer should allow the reader to make judgments about the characters; the writer should avoid making the judgments for the reader.
- The feelings of the character should be demonstrated rather than told by the narrator.
Closing thoughts and Rules
- The nature of characters can be brought out through minimal description and the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of the characters
- The one rule about writing is that there are no rules. If it works, it works.
Sidebar – Cardboard characters: What they are and how to avoid them.
- Cardboard characters.
- A cardboard character is one who’s a stereotype.
- They are a character whose every action or reaction is exactly what the reader would have guessed for the situation.
- How to Avoid Cardboard Characters
- Avoid them by inventing lives, backgrounds, attitudes, quirks, moods, etc. for all characters.
- The bigger the character is, the more depth he or she gets.
- Even the barista whose only scene is taking other characters’ order and bringing the coffee has a unique personality which needs to come out, however briefly.
Characters in Fiction Writing by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.