The best books all have one thing in common – realistic and complex characters. They feel lifelike and tangible. They have a kind of depth that can be so convincing, that long after the book has been closed you find yourself missing them as though they were a true friend.

Making complex characters, ones that truly come to life is no easy feat. They require personality and a realism to make them feel authentic. But it’s difficult to create something other than yourself. After all, you can only write from inside your own head. So, successfully making new characters, each as a separate entity with entirely different natures, can be pretty difficult to do.

How to be human

To make your characters feel real, you need to consider what makes us, as people, human. Think of it as a ‘how to be human’ guide. What emotions do you have and how do you express them? Which experiences from your past have shaped your fears and beliefs? Which people in your life have had a significant impact on the way you see the world? How has your environment shaped your life?  More than that, we are made up of tiny details from our favourite colour, to nervous habits, our emotional responses, and our contradictions. These are all important facets that build each of us up as individuals.

Crafting Complex Characters

Creating characters with depth and dimension can be challenging, as such we’re rolling out a new series! Over six posts we’ll cover the basics of complex characters, the role of memories and defining moments in adding depth, the importance of family and mentors, adding detail, dichotomous characters, and lastly, we’ll provide you with a worksheet to help you get to know your characters even better!

So, subscribe to The Writing Resource to get notified over the coming weeks as we roll out our complex characters series just in time for NaNoWriMo!

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