Wednesday 18 December 2019

Stage of revision 5. Characters

Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Are they consistent? Do they develop? Do you know everything about them that you should?

The importance of character

It is the tension between our characters that create our stories anyway. If your characters aren’t right, neither is your story. 

Creating empathy

It’s important that the reader can relate to the characters in a text and usually there is some empathy.  Sometimes a writer may create an unlikeable character but at least that provokes a reaction in the reader. Also in these instances we are shown why the character is the way s/he is.


For a character to be convincing they must be consistent. Check for any behaviour or speech that is out of character.


Are your characters rounded? Evil characters should have some redeeming features. Good character should have some flaws.  This all helps to make them more believable. 


Our characters must develop.  Look at what they’re like at the beginning of the story and what they’re like at the end. Is there enough change?

Character knowledge

Your character will work best if you know everything about them. You don’t have to write huge lists and answer hundreds of questions but you should certainly think about them a lot. You can get a writing buddy to fire questions at you about your character. And here’s a challenging experiment: get your writing buddy to read a passage of your text.  Now ask them a question about an aspect of your character that you know you haven’t mentioned in that passage. Do they get the answer more or less right? If so, well done.  You’ve carried the whole DNA of your character into that scene.  This shows you know your character really well.     

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