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Crafting Characters: Tips and Tricks for Believable Protagonists and Antagonists



Welcome again to this week's Monday Night blog. If you are an author, writer, blogger, or more, then, you are in the right place. I often write about my writing journey as well as my hobbies. Tonight I will post some new techniques that can help you as a writer. If you haven't read last week's blog dealing with writer's block, then please check that out as well. Lots of writers deal with writer's block and, that blog can efficiently help all new writers.


How do you craft a good memorable character? Where do you start and how does it relate to readers if it even can? Because let's face it, most characters that you read in a book may never relate to you as a reader. Most of the time, a reader just has to like the characters to like the whole book. The second thing is the plot does it make sense and is it engaging enough so that the reader doesn't get bored?


I often blog a lot about books and the first thing that I write about is the characters. Do I like them, what do I think about them, and then the story plot is usually next. So check out my tricks and tips on what you can do to create some cool characters.




Creating realistic and relatable characters is one of the most important aspects of writing a novel. If your characters are flat and stereotypical, your readers will have a hard time connecting with them and becoming invested in their story. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips on how to create characters that are both realistic and relatable.

 

1. Give the Character a Personality

The first step in creating a realistic and relatable character is to give them a personality. People are complex, and your characters should be too. Here are some things to consider when creating a personality for your character:


Background

What is your character’s background? What race/ethnicity/social standing/religion/sexuality do they identify with? How does this impact how they’re perceived and how they behave? Background can influence everything from how your character speaks to how they dress, so it’s important to consider this when creating your character. Even something as simple as their name can be influenced by their background. For example, a street thug isn’t going to call himself Maximillian, and a feared space commander named Bob doesn’t assert authority, does it?


Strengths

What does your character do well? What are some positive aspects about them? Remember, no one can do everything well!


Flaws

What does your character do badly? What are some negative aspects of them? Remember, no one is 100% evil!


Friends and Family

Who’s in your character’s inner circle? Who can they confide in or bounce ideas off of?


Past and Future

Does your character have any past baggage that they carry around? Do they have any plans for the future that could influence their decisions?


Masks

Is there a difference between who your character is and who they want to be? Is there a difference between who they are and who others see them as?

Why do you need all of this? Because character traits and personality don’t exist in a void. We are what we and life make ourselves out to be. When the reader not only sees what the character does but also understands why they do it, the character automatically becomes more relatable and realistic. Once you’ve given a character their personality, protect it. One of the things that violently pulls a reader out of a story is when they see an established character doing something that goes completely against their persona for no reason other than the plot demands it.


2. Make the Character Relatable

Relatability is what you’re ultimately striving for as a writer because that’s what creates an attachment between the character and the reader. It’s what makes the reader want the character to succeed. After all, the characters in your story aren’t only building relationships between themselves, they’re also building one with the reader. Here are some tips to make your character more relatable:


Give Them Some Type of Conflict

Nobody is perfect, and your characters shouldn’t be either. Give them flaws that make them human and relatable.


Give Them Goals

Your characters should have something they want to achieve. This gives them motivation and makes them more relatable.


Give Them Fears

Everyone is afraid of something. Giving your characters fears makes them more human and relatable.


Give Them Quirks

Quirks are the little things that make your characters unique. They can be anything from a nervous tic to a love of knitting. Quirks make your characters more interesting and relatable.




Title: Unveiling the Veil: The Power of Unreliable Narrators in Twisting Reality**

 

In the tapestry of storytelling, there exists a fascinating thread woven by the hands of unreliable narrators. These characters stand as enigmatic pillars, distorting reality and challenging our perception of truth in literature. Their narratives, a labyrinth of half-truths and

twisted perceptions invite readers into a world where the boundaries between fact and fiction blur, creating an enthralling experience that lingers long after the final page.

 

The Enigmatic Unreliable Narrator:

At the core of this narrative technique lies the unreliable narrator, a character whose account of events within the story may be flawed, misleading, or intentionally deceptive. These narrators harbor subjective biases, faulty memories, or hidden agendas, effectively turning the storytelling lens into a fragmented mirror reflecting altered realities.

 

Manipulating Perspectives:

Authors wield the unreliable narrator as a potent tool to manipulate perspectives. By presenting events through a distorted lens, they invite readers to question the reliability of the narrative. This manipulation of perception sparks a riveting intellectual dance between the reader and the story, compelling them to sift through layers of ambiguity and interpret the narrative with a critical eye.

 

Blurring the Lines Between Truth and Fiction:

 

The allure of unreliable narrators lies in their ability to blur the lines between truth and fiction. As readers, we are plunged into a world where certainties dissolve, leaving behind a tantalizing ambiguity. Are we witnessing reality or merely a distorted reflection shaped by the narrator's biases? This ambiguity fuels a sense of unease, sparking a thrilling intellectual chase to uncover the elusive truth concealed within the narrative web.


Engaging Readers Through Unreliable Storytelling:

The allure of unreliable narration lies not merely in its deceptive charm but also in its capacity to deeply engage readers. The uncertainty and tension crafted by these narrators captivate audiences, fostering an immersive reading experience that prompts introspection and encourages readers to actively participate in unraveling the story's mysteries.

 

Examples in Literature:

Countless literary masterpieces have employed the artistry of unreliable narrators to captivate audiences. Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" ingeniously employs dual unreliable narrators, manipulating perceptions and crafting a narrative that keeps readers on the edge, questioning every revelation. Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" challenges the reader's trust in the narrator, blurring the lines between reality and the protagonist's delusions. Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" mesmerizes with its unreliable narrator, weaving a tale where truth is as elusive as the shifting sands.

 


character archetypes that you can use in your novel:

1.    The Mentor: This character is usually older and wiser than the protagonist and provides guidance and advice to help them on their journey.

2.    The Sidekick: This character is the protagonist’s loyal companion and provides support and comic relief. (Charlie Nelson -From Evenings and Night Openings Available)

3.  The Love Interest: This character is the object of the protagonist’s affection and often serves as a motivation for the protagonist’s actions.   

4. The Antagonist: This character is the main source of conflict in the story and opposes the protagonist’s goals. (Hazel Randolf- Them Against Us & Mr. Vaunwestler -You Have Until Midnight)

5.    The Trickster: This character is mischievous and often plays pranks on other characters. They can be a source of comic relief or a catalyst for change in the story. (Richard Meed- Evenings and Night Openings Available)

6.    The Femme Fatale: This character is seductive and manipulative and often leads the protagonist down a dangerous path. (Susan Coxley- You Have Until Midnight)

7.    The Outsider: This character is an outsider to the story’s world and often serves as a way to introduce the reader to the story’s setting and culture.

8.    The Everyman: This character is an ordinary person who finds themselves in extraordinary circumstances. They often serve as a stand-in for the reader and help them relate to the story.


Usually, most stories have one or a few of these in their novels. I have given some examples from my books as well. These tricks can help you write some compelling stories and can grab the reader's attention.


Conclusion

Creating realistic and relatable characters is essential to writing a successful novel. By giving your characters a personality and making them relatable, you’ll be able to build a connection between your readers and your characters. Remember, your characters are the heart of your story, so take the time to make them as real and relatable as possible.

I hope this blog post helps you create realistic and relatable characters for your novel. Good luck with your writing!


Resources:

 

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