Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Are Your Characters Truly Believable?

I think out of most of the things I obsess over when it comes to reading books is how believable the characters are. I think that for far too many authors out there, they focus so much on the plot and getting the characters from Point A to Point B that they fail to look at what their characters are saying and doing.

It is always important to stop and ask yourself "What would a real person do in a situation such as this?" As authors, if we do not do this, sure, we can advance the plot, but you lose your readers too quickly as they begin to question the motives, thoughts and actions of the reader.

Let me give you a few examples. These are from stories that I have seen over the years.

  • Ministers who suddenly do things that they would probably preach against in church.
  • Following a break up of a VERY serious relationship, the characters immediately dive into a new relationship with no problem
  • Having in-depth conversations while in those "intimate moments"
  • Detectives thinking it is perfectly fine to start a relationship up with the person they think is a potential suspect.
  • Historical characters acting and behaving like they are living in 2020
So, as you write your stories, always look at your characters. Would these people really say these things or do these things in real life? If not, I don't care if it advances your story, it might be time to re-think that approach. 

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