Is your character a… character

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I am referring to uniqueness. I have written so many nauseating clichés I am thankful I didn’t hurl on my keyboard. Even though there are certain character types, if my readers can’t recognize my characters by what they do or what they say then I have failed.

I suggest that you install some characteristics of your characters into those characters and not into others. Make one tell bad jokes ever so often. Make one more spontaneous. It is usually easier for us to install good characteristics, especially if we do our protagonists. I have discussed it a bit. It is important to note the important cracks and flaws that makes your specific characters good characters.

It may be as simple as a gesture, or a cliché of that character. If you use his or her POV you can really use it to your advantage. When taking age in to consideration you must remember what it was to be a child. Often you misunderstood adults’ actions or sayings. As authors we need to embrace differences rather than strive for unity.

One of my characters has this habit of pacing and another one smokes. Another one seldom loses his temper. Some say stupid things and other are wise. Don’t overuse these traits as they will become your own clichés. Rather let your readers be drawn to a character they may think of more as a person with flaws and uniqueness.

It can boil down to almost anything. A character’s walk, talk, mannerisms and POV (thinking of descriptions and perceptions)
It is how you can be certain that your characters will be remembered by readers.

So, are your characters, characters?

  1. As writers, we have to be cautious to Mary-Sue characters, and yet, making our characters too unique may result in them falling into a cliché category. They need motives and traits that make them different – to an extent. Personally, I use first person POV, which I feel generates the most dimension in terms of character development. I definitely agree with your last statement – our characters must be unforgettable!


  2. triSARAHtops says:

    This is such an important reminder!
    Thank you 🙂


  3. stefooch says:

    I agree completely. Being too unique results in major problems. I write third person limited to certain POVs. But 1st person also has great advantages to third person and vice versa. I think my fourth novel will be 1st person.


    • Writing in first person POV may be tricky at first, but it definitely has its perks. I’ve written in both and find myself more comfortable in first person. Third person is best when points of view are not switched from character to character – doing so loses my interest, as a reader. Anyway, you should try first person in a longer work. You won’t regret it!


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