How To Write Main Characters

The original characters are the most essential component of an exciting and readable story. Readers should be able to identify with and root for the main character. But how do you create convincing characters in a novel that make you want to keep reading?

Every story stands and falls with the main character.

Even if there is no recipe for the perfect novel, writing must be learned. As an author, you can educate yourself on conceptualizing the material for an exciting book and develop exciting characters from an idea on the Internet, in various author guides, or during a workshop. However, there is no universal recipe for success because every story is unique.

Successful novels, such as the Harry Potter series, always have one thing in common: a strong main character with whom the reader empathizes and develops a closeness, almost like a friend. But how do you create a main character who truly captivates your readership? The four suggestions below can assist you.

1. Your character must develop

To keep your story interesting, your main character should go through active development. As an author, you can accomplish this by completely turning your character's world upside down. For example, your character may have a specific image of themselves, such as growing up in a sheltered home. But then something happens that causes her to question herself and her worldview. Such conflicts are significant turning points in stories and play a significant role in developing tension.

So give your character disasters so that they can outperform themselves. Make them reorient, define, and rediscover themselves completely. For example, in the best-selling autobiographical novel Eat Pray Love, the main character (and author) Elizabeth Gilbert embarks on a year-long journey through Italy, India, and Bali to reconnect with herself, God, and the wounds of the past.

At the start of the book, you learn a lot about her current life situation, dreams, and failures. This information is essential so readers can get to know the protagonists and actively participate in their development. It also motivates a character to take action, such as traveling around the world and rediscovering himself.

2. Weaknesses make your hero stronger

Your main character does not have to be perfect; one or more flaws make him more approachable and sympathetic to the reader. You can also use this for the character development described in the first point: for example, your main character may need to overcome her shyness for the object of her desire to notice her.

What matters is that you use your main character's flaws to advance the plot. For example, it's pointless to keep mentioning your protagonist's fear of flying if there's no plane in the entire book. Instead, it is preferable if she is confronted with her fears and forced to conquer them once and for all. This way, suspenseful moments can be built where your readers can root for themselves and rejoice with the main character when they finally overcome their fear of flying.

3. Give your fictional character a special characteristic

Sherlock Holmes is never seen without his pipe, and James Bond always drinks his martini shaken, not stirred. These distinguishing characteristics have become historical markers for the characters. You, too, can come up with unique features to bring your characters to life.

You don't have to go overboard because each character should only have one or two special abilities. These don't have to be physical characteristics; perhaps a personality trait, such as clumsiness, distinguishes your protagonist. A memorable name (such as Miss Marple) also ensures that readers remember a character.

4. Create a character sheet

Create a character sheet for your novel's protagonist and the most essential characters, so you don't lose track. In addition to external characteristics, the respective history, and character traits, you can write down anything that seems important to you.

Remember that as a writer, you have omniscience. Of course, at the start of the story, your readers should know enough about the person to form their own opinion. However, certain events from your character's past may only become apparent as the story progresses. The more attractive your character is by providing psychological depth to her, the more likely your readers will engage with her and want to know what happens next.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.


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