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Why You Need To Create Believable Characters
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Why You Need to Create Believable Characters

Stories, much like real life, revolve around people. This makes characterization an absolutely essential component of writing. As you work in writing fiction, one of the very first steps is to create believable characters. These characters will play a strong role in the development of your writing, and even the overall direction of your fiction. There is a lot said about creating believable characters, but why do you really need to?

Characters control the action

Within any story, the characters that you write are essential for determining what happens next. For example, if one of your characters is a hard-nosed cop who never breaks or bends the law, his actions are likely to be very different than a cop who believes in vigilante justice. Although these two characters may have similar jobs and roles in society, their actions under different circumstances are likely to be completely different.

These differences are frequently what drive the action within a piece of fiction. A character who is naturally curious may find out something that she or he is not meant to, leading to future events, such as them getting chased, someone trying to kill them or them investigating deeper. Even events that are outside the control of your characters are relevant, because people react in different ways. If your characters are well-written and believable, the action of the story will seem more natural and will make more sense, which in turn improves the quality of the writing.

Readers need to connect with characters

When people read a story or a book, one of the key aspects of their experience is how they connect with your characters. If you went to a sports game and honestly did not care who won, you probably would feel a little bored and indifferent. The same is true when it comes to reading a piece of fiction. You don’t have to have one ‘hero’ and one ‘villain’, but you need aspects to your characters that help readers to identify with them and be interested in what they are doing.

One key aspect of this is motivation. Why are your characters doing what they are doing? Would you do the same thing in those circumstances? Why? Motivation can be simple or complex, and you may choose to reveal the motivations of the characters early on in the writing, or you may intentionally hide these motivation. Using the motivation of your characters well is a really important aspect of writing and making your characters realistic.

Characters make writing interesting

Events happen on a regular basis. While a fire may be damaging to a community or an affair damaging to a family, there is nothing unique about these events. What is unique is the way that your characters react to the events, what they think and what they do. Each person is different, and this is as true of real people as it is of your characters. Through your characters, you can make your story unique, exciting and relevant to readers. Without effective and realistic characterization, your story is likely to fall flat, and not have the impact you were looking for.


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