Posts tagged dialogue
Posts tagged dialogue
Characters are the heart and soul of every story.
Almost every great story is about people. Plot, setting, themes, and every other element of fiction is secondary to realistic characters that an audience can connect with on an intellectual or emotional level.
There are exceptions, of course. Some readers enjoy plot-driven stories, but they never seem to achieve the massive popularity that stories with rich, layered characters achieve. Why do fans adore Harry Potter, Holden Caulfield, and Scarlett O’Hara? Because they are people.
We connect with characters in fiction for any number of reasons. Maybe the character reminds us a little of ourselves. We might love her because she represents who we want to be, or we might hate her because she reminds us of the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of. Some characters feel like friends; others remind us of our enemies. We might admire a character’s heroism and relate to his philosophy or we might admonish his acts of destruction and hate.
Some writers argue that it’s not necessary for readers to connect or identify with characters in a story. That might be true to some extent, but the most beloved stories throughout the history of literature are populated with characters we love or characters we love to hate. There’s something to be said for making readers care.
Character Writing Tips
Readers won’t care about characters unless they are believable. So how do we make our characters realistic? Why do the most celebrated characters seem so real? How have some writers managed to render animals, aliens, and even inanimate objects into characters that we embrace emotionally?
The answer is simple: the best characters are realistic. They come with all the flaws, quirks, and baggage that real people possess. They are not just names on a page. They have pasts, personalities, and they are unique.
Here are 12 character writing tips to help you develop characters that feel like real people:
All your characters should have unique personalities, therefore they will all talk slightly differently.
Now this is impossible to do if your characters haven’t got a personality (this is where character profiles become critical).
So make them cocky, flirty, obnoxious or whatever their personality dictates, but let the dialogue speak for itself.
Play around with it for a while, it will come with time. But until you know what your characters are like you can’t convincingly write their dialogue.