blogpost, For Writers

Writing Advice: Building a Realistic Character

My Post (40)

It can be very frustrating when you are reading a story with a good plot, but the characters are just cliché and unrealistic. As a reader, it may convince you to just give up on the book or the author all together.

Our job as writers is to create a believable story with realistic characters. Now, I’m not talking about Sci-Fi or superhero character traits. I mean that your readers should be able to really get into the mind of your MC and “believe” that they exist. Your readers should be able to tell all of your characters apart. If they all blend in, that can be a huge problem.

We want our readers to become enveloped in the story and those who are in it.

Here’s something I like to do before I actually write the meat of a story. I make a character profile for every major character in the story. I cover all aspects of their background, physical description, and personality. This way, no matter where the story goes I can stay consistent and true to their character. This also helps the believability (is that a word? Yes – I checked. lol) of the story.

Here’s a PDF Printable–> Character Building Form I designed and use to build strong characters. Try it out!

Also, it’s okay to take inspiration from life, but to avoid upsetting real people in your life – don’t base your characters on people you know to the point it’s obvious. Some may be flattered, but others won’t like it at all. This could be a potential problem.

Use a questionnaire or template (like this one–> Character Building Form) and build your own believable characters. You can take traits or inspiration from real people, but remember to change it up unless you are writing a “based on a true story” kind of book (with permission of course).

Give your characters a birthday, a favorite food, quirks, and other personality traits. If they have a bad habit or obsession add that in there too.

As writers we need to support each other and build stronger stories together!

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Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD your FREE Printable Character Building Form if you haven’t yet!!

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