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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lucas Heath – How to Make Your Characters Believable

How to Make Your Characters Believable

by Lucas Heath

Never being into sports has provided me with time “on the sidelines” and opportunities to observe what’s going on around me. Since I was quite young I’ve watched and studied others and learned why they do the things they do.

Years later, I am really good at predicting people’s actions. I understand how some people think and know how to relate to them. It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to become a psychiatrist, but that’s not the direction I’m heading.

Anyone can write a story with decent characters. However, to have characters that truly captivate the audience, a writer needs to be able to get into each character’s mind, know their history, how they react and why. Consider where they are from: city or country, what culture, what land, or what world. Do they have an accent? Does their dialogue betray their homeland? This is background that needs to be developed, even if a character’s past is never revealed in a story, as it will affect the character on the whole.

Dialogue is very important; it should flow naturally and not be stilted. The words need to be appropriate for your character in every situation. After I write, I read the words out loud. As I impersonate each character – even adapting appropriate accents – I am listening to see if what is written fits with the character and if the words flow effortlessly.

If you want to write a story with exaggerated characters, like those on the television series Psych, go for it! I, however, prefer my characters to be realistic. For the most part, characters that people can relate to are powerful to a successful story. In that regard, it’s easier to draw the reader into the story and get them captivated. Even bad stories with great characters can hook readers.

Remember to explore the minds of those you write about. In a sense, try to become them, understand them. I’ve adapted an old saying and use it as a guideline for stories: “Don’t write about a character until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Avoid writing characters that have no personality and are boring; make them three-dimensional so that they can be seen in your readers’ minds! Get to know them intimately. Make their life an adventure worth sharing. When you truly know who you are writing about, then you can make a good story great!


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Genre –  Thriller / SciFi

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Lucas Heath on Facebook  & Twitter

Website http://lucasheathbooks.com/


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