Monday, August 27, 2012

Writing Real

The most important job a fiction writer has is to create characters that are real.

Plot is worthless if the characters are not people we can believe in, care about, root for, hate, be provoked by or otherwise moved by on an emotional level.

Readers have often commented about the characters in MONTANA MATCHED, "I feel like I know them personally." and "They seem like friends of mine."

The characters in this popular contemporary romance remind readers of people they have actually met. They identify with them, care about them. Readers want things to work out for them.

What makes a character "real?"

Real characters...

1. have human emotions, faults and ambitions.

2. set goals, achieve successes and suffer failures.

3. cry when they lose someone they love.

4. are lonely, depressed, happy, ticked off.

5. pray, steal, lie, cheat, do good deeds without expecting any reward.

Real characters do what WE do and, most importantly, they do and feel the above things NATURALLY in the course of the story.

Creating "real" characters isn't easy, but succeeding at it is worth every gram of effort a writer makes toward that goal--especially when readers say, "I feel like I know them personally." Nothing is more satisfying for a writer than that.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
Fran's Web Page

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