View Full Version : how can i make the characters more believeable
March 3rd, 2002, 04:21 AM
i have a really good story but my characters just don't seem real. does anyone know wot i can do to make them more believeable
March 3rd, 2002, 06:38 AM
give them some weaknesses, give them some traits of yourself so you can write about them with more of a personal informed touch, not 100% sure really, still trying to figure this one out for myself, i would say an important one is when you put them in a situation think about the character you've built up and decide how they would react instead of deciding on a course of action to fit your character to, does that make sense?
March 3rd, 2002, 07:58 AM
That's a difficult and highly subjective question. But I think you can succide (sp?) in believability with 1) manner of speaking 2) habbits 3) flaws (physical and pshycological) 3) Merits (I'm against the logic that only flawed characters are believable) 4) obsessions 5) likes/dislikes. It's not enought to say someone is a wizard; you gotta give him something more.
Or alternatively ask youself this questions: Is this guy/gal interesing to me? In possitive or negative light; i.e., would I be afraid of him? Would I like her? Would I like to meet that guy? Isn't she disgusting? Etc.
If you can't answer these kind of questions, then the characters needs work.
And another point: Background. BACKGROUND. Where the character was born, who were his/her parents, has s/he got any brother/sisters?, is the characters married or not?, any kids?, any other realtives?, friend?, etc
March 4th, 2002, 06:30 AM
Making characters believable is basic to writing, a task that requires exposition, quality description and useful dialogue at the very least. If you cannot put yourself in the character's shoes, then you must use your insight from having witnessed the traits of other people and their values. Otherwise and you will have a difficult time convincing your readers that you believe in what you are writing. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but it is the reality. If you feel you are not quite ready for such a thing, then take more time to observe people and perhaps learn what makes them tick. It can take a lifetime. It took me years before I was prepared to say anything memorable. Do yourself and your readers a favor, by training your eyes with a more focused lens.
March 5th, 2002, 04:55 AM
thank you all for your replies i will try and use all the sugestions.
March 5th, 2002, 08:06 AM
I just got Orson Scott Card's book 'Characters & Viewpoints' which is an absolutely phenomonal book. You'll find all your answers in that book.
March 14th, 2002, 07:04 AM
I don't write fantasy, I write fiction, but I generally base my characters on the most interesting people I've met in my life- the most complex ones with the most history- and I think this is a really good technique. You can infer what you don't know and exaggerate certain traits, but when the characters are real and actually exist, they'll be believable.
March 19th, 2002, 05:51 AM
orbwar - when you say your characters don't seem real, it is the dialogue between them that you are mean? do you have a clear picture of each of them in your mind's eye? are they real to you when you THINK about them? if they are not real in your head, then they will not be real on paper. your characters must be so clear to you that when you write, you know instinctively how they will react to circumstances.
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