When you have read through some of your work have you ever found a disconnect between the wonderful character you envision in your head and what is actually written on the page?
After reading my first draft I'm actually annoyed with some of my characters, particularly my lead character. I don't know what it is about her. Perhaps she's too naive, perhaps her thoughts don't flow logically enough, or perhaps she's just a downright bimbo, but she's certainly not someone I as the reader would want to follow throughout the span of an entire novel. I know this character can be more . . . much more.
So how do you even begin to make your characters jump off of the page? Consider some of these ideas:
- Does my Lead character have likeable qualities?
- Is my Lead someone a reader can relate to?
- Is my villain the stereotypical 'bad guy' or do they possess some sympathetic qualities and/or good points?
- Is the thought progression of my characters logical throughout my novel (or piece of work)?
- What are my characters' (particularly my lead character's) personal conflicts?
Exercise: Take a moment to look at the bad guy(s) in your piece of writing. Can you add a good quality to him/her to make them more believeable?