Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Few Things I Want in a Character

coffeebeanworks via Pixabay

Today, over at Organizing by STYLE, I'd just finished a post about merging my passion with self-confidence when it occurred to me that I like my people the way I like my characters.


Or maybe it's the other way around. One of the reasons I started writing inspirational fiction was that, at the time I started, I couldn't manage to find characters in that genre who felt real. They were too good, and the things they agonized over didn't seem worth the angst to me. I wanted to read about (and root for) real people with real problems. People I could identify with. Give me an interesting character -- or, better yet, an interesting cast of characters -- and I don't actually care much about the plot. I'm more interested in the people.

So here, in no particular order, are a few things I want in a character, whether I'm writing her (or him) or reading about her (or him).

  • I want a character who messes up, and knows when to laugh at her mistakes.
  • I want a character I'd love to sit down with for a nice, long chat at my neighborhood Starbucks.
  • If a character is unlikable, I want to know why.
  • I want a character who engages in snappy dialogue -- which means I probably want a couple of characters in the same book who do this so they can talk to each other.
  • I want a character who thinks with her heart, at least some of the time.
  • I want a character who doesn't tell me her entire life story in one meeting. Let me get to know you, and then I'll be dying to know your backstory.
  • I want a character who is longing for something...or someone.
How about you? What do you want in a character?

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