Tips for Writing Interesting Characters

A story is only as good as its characters. We’d like to share some tips for writing interesting characters to help strengthen your work.

First and foremost, a tip for writing interesting characters is to make sure you have a clear sense of who they are. You are going to be spending quite some time with these characters, so it’s best you know them well if you’re going to write a great story. Therefore, it’s an intelligent choice to dedicate your time to getting to know your characters and how they react to the world around them. Ensuring that you are familiar with the people in your book will help you understand how the story impacts them and also lends to their authenticity.

Further, if you find yourself struggling, a helpful tip for writing interesting characters,  is to write from what you know. Many authors will tell you that a specific character they have thought up may reflect a particular person in their lives. And so, you would do well to study yourself and the people in your life for inspiration when crafting your characters.

Moreover, if you want to write memorable characters, you must think about small characteristics that make them stand out. For example, what are their hobbies? How do they sound when they speak? What are their flaws? You don’t want to risk presenting characters that sound like caricatures, as it can quickly take away from your work and lose the reader’s interest. Identifying their traits, and small quirks,  can go a long way in bringing your characters to life and making them unforgettable.

Further, a tip for writing interesting characters is to think about their backstories. Essentially, a person is their experiences. And so, you mustn’t forget to include how a character’s past has shaped who they are in the present narrative. For instance, think about Miss Havisham in Great Expectations and how her past has directly influenced her depressed state in the novel. Including a backstory helps bring out their complexity and allows the reader to understand them better.

Finally, probably the most important tip for writing interesting characters is to pay attention to character development. Essentially, the plot and characters go hand in hand, as both influence one another directly. Thus, in your story, the fictional characters ought to undergo some change in relation to the story, whether it be positive or negative. For example, you could show how an inexperienced character may grow into a stronger, more resilient person by the end, such as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. Showing the reader how the characters have experienced a significant change in the story makes them feel real and shows your skill as an author.

We hope the tips we’ve shared with you on writing interesting characters have helped you in this part of the writing process.

Langtons International Agency has a catalog of books consisting of many memorable characters and is always happy to take a look at your work.