The best stories succeed because of memorable characters.
What makes a character memorable, and how can you create one?
Not by making him or her perfect, I can tell you that. Who can identify with perfection?
Identify? Is that important? You bet it is.
We love and remember powerful lead characters because we want to be them.
Make no mistake, they need to be flawed, but be sure those flaws aren’t repulsive. Your hero can be afraid of snakes, but they shouldn’t make him wet his pants.
Your heroine can be a contrarian, but she shouldn’t be whiny.
Heroic characters accomplish heroic acts, and to do this in spite of their humanity makes us want to rise to their example.
Trying to build an unforgettable character? Study the ones who moved you as a reader.
How to Create a Character Who Takes Your Story to New Heights
- Be realistic
The best characters are relatable—so if you give your lead an unbelievable strength, accompany it with a glaring weakness.
- Don’t let them look stupid
Be careful not to diminish your character in the reader’s eyes.
Don’t let a private detective forget to load his weapon or miss an obvious clue. Though flawed, he shouldn’t be a:
- Give them forgivable flaws
Your hero needs a flaw readers can relate to and still admire him.
Who was your favorite fictional character and what was his or her greatest strength and relatable flaw? Tell me in the comments.