Depth of Character

20160124_124122Have ever just stopped and thought about snowflakes? It’s an incredible thing. Together they are a mass of white fluff but individually they are unique and individual. Not one is alike.

That’s like people. If you look at a crowd at a sporting event it looks like a throng of moving, breathing bodies. I went to a concert once where there were so many bodies pressed together I was moved along like I was caught up on a conveyor belt of human flesh. For a few moments I was actually worried that I had been swallowed by a monster and may not ever breath freely again. Thankfully, the monster spit me out and I indeed took a breath of air!

And yet, that throng of people was made up of a whole lot of individual and unique people. That is one of the challenges of writing good fiction. Creating distinctive and original characters that readers want to root for; characters that have distinct personalities, dreams and goals that are relate able.  After all, who wants to read a story with flat, unbelievable characters?

To create characters that have a life of their own is definitely an art. You don’t want your characters to become lost in a wave of fiction fluff. Readers relate with multi dimensional characters because that is how we are!

I have much to learn in this area but I’ll share two things I’ve picked up along the way.

Things to think about:

First: A good character is not just “Good” or “Bad.”  We all have many fine qualities but we also have weaknesses. If you write a character that is all good and never show their weaknesses or faults then you will have a one dimensional person. No one can relate to a one dimensional person.

Even the bad guy in the story has some good in him. That is what makes him relate able and likable. Find the good, even in your bad guy!

Second: Spend some time developing the backstory. Why does your character do and say what he or she does? If you don’t know the backstory then you will end up with a shallow character. It doesn’t have to be a huge backstory and you don’t even have to tell the reader the backstory. It might just be for the writer’s benefit.

So for those of you that are testing out this area of writing, think about your characters and be sure to give them some depth. Your story will be better and your readers will connect with the story better.

Happy writing!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field