8 Ways to Make Your Characters More Relatable :: LitReactor


I hate math; therefore, I hate formulas.  Formulaic songs, formulaic stories, formulaic characters:  hate, hate, hate.

But I love this article from LitReactor on creating realistic characters.  Read, my fellow night owls, and be inspired.

– sld

8 Ways to Make Your Characters More Relatable

by Robbie Blair

How does one write a compelling character? It’s a question so complex that you might as well ask how to write a good book. That said, there are a number of factors that crop up again and again when we look at the characters who strike a chord with many of their readers. One such factor is relatability, and in this article, I’m going to talk about ways to make your character more relatable.

Some Quick Notes

Not every character has to be relatable. While you can benefit from having relatable heroes, villains, or even side characters, there’s no mandatory pre-requisite that says a good book must have such characters—or even that compelling characters have to be relatable. Sometimes an emotionally distant villain is preferable, sometimes a lack of resonance can make an anti-hero even more interesting, and sometimes relatability just doesn’t mesh well with your character concept.

This article isn’t about teaching you the “right way” to write a character. It’s not about developing a mathematical formula that allows you to construct characters in some theoretically perfect way. I’m all for an organic approach to characters that allows characters to emerge from the story, world, and situations you’ve created. This look at ways to make more relatable characters is meant as a launching point from which you can brainstorm, troubleshoot, flesh out, or re-invigorate your characters.

There’s no reason not to give your villain a puppy to play with, some charity to support, or even a moment of selflessness (even if it is for a cause that stands in opposition to the heroes).

Read more of this story on LitReactor.


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