Packing Punch Into Your Characters.

Friday, June 3, 2011
I don't know about you guys, but one thing that bothers me more than anything is characters that lack substance. And as they go along, you continue reading, wondering when or if they are ever going to do something bold. It may just be me, but when I read books with flat or weak characters, personally, I feel cheated. Nine times out of ten, I end up screaming at the book. "Do something, anything!"

So for today's post, I'm going to provide some helpful tips on packing punch into your characters.

1. Take a little piece of yourself.

There is almost always a little piece of me in my characters. In doing that, it helps guide you toward the light at the end of the tunnel. I always ask myself. "What would I do if I was in their shoes?" That little part of me inside of the character would me come up with the answer. And it would help you relate to your character.

2. Don't be afraid to get emotional.

Go ahead and let it all out. Sob. Cry. Scream. That shows that you are emotionally invested in your characters. And if you can sense the emotion as you are writing, your readers will sense the emotion as they read it.

3. People Watch.

I'm a constant observer. It doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing, I'm always watching other people. No, not in a creepy, stalkerish sort of way. I watch them to see their reactions to certain situations. Like if a couple is walking through the mall holding hands, the boy does something and it ticks his girlfriend off. Stop! Freeze! How does she react? Being observant of realistic situations can help you relay that realistic situation into your character.

4. Show vulnerability.

Yes, in the beginning, I said I don't like weak characters but, I'm talking characters that are all around weak. They don't have any fire to them. They are just kind of there. Even strong characters have vulnerability. Even overtly brash characters have that one thing that makes them feel. Like in my book, Love Sucks, my MC is a very stong character, yet at same time she has vulnerabilities that make the reader able to relate to her at some points. You do not want your reader to not be able to relate to your characters, whether they are weak or strong.

I hope some of this advice helps! Have A nice weekend!



  1. Great advise! My husband would say number two is a piece of cake for me. I can't help it, sometimes the characters we create are so real.

  1. Pk Hrezo said...:

    Great advice! I'm a people watcher too... and find them to be most interesting!

  1. Excellent advice. I watch people also. I also do a character sketch on my characters to see what they like and dislike and how I can incorporate their styles into the book - the lowest of characters included. It makes each characters voice shine!

  1. khashway said...:

    Great advice, Lauren. I love that you point out the difference between a weak character and showing vulnerability. Without vulnerability a character can be unlikeable.

  1. Excellent list. It's also fun to create a character the complete antithesis to yourself--give them NONE of your own physical traits, personality or habits.

  1. Cat said...:

    Beautiful. I loved this whole post. I completely agree with everything you said... especially the people watching. Oh yes. I people watch like cuh-razy! :)

Post a Comment