Everybody writes characters, but the publisher wants to make them more charming or funny. But charming isn’t necessarily interesting. What you want is you want relatable and tell the truth about people. If you tell the truth about people, people will relate to them. They’ll see themselves or their loved ones in those characters, and they will attach to those characters.
When characters are negative because some writer thinks it’s edgier to have somebody be negative! A negative action is okay for drama or soap operas. But comedy requires positive actions by negative actions. So, stop trying to be funny for a second and be a human being with all its flaws and idiocies. Do you want to write a charming character? Stay with me till last.
How to write a charming character?
Your characters are important in your stories because bad characters can make a bad story. A charming character can make a great story, so they greatly influence your work quality. First off, what makes up a charming character in your story arc?
You’ll have characters with some fear or flaw that impedes their progress with that problem, and then they either triumph or fail over a set problem. So you have to put your character in your plot and storyline slowly. I have 5 ideas to write a charming character perfectly. Let’s discuss!
1. Make a relatable character
You don’t want your characters to be jerks. Rather, you want them to be likable or relatable. If you want other people to think that your characters are real, you need to start thinking of them as real people. How do you build real lovable characters during your writing process? You can pick up a lot of character traits from watching other people and little quirks that people have. Also, you can look at your coworkers and analyze them and see their flaws and some funny things they do. It helps solidify one specific thing.
Nobody is perfect, and everybody has flaws. So, if you’re trying to write a book with a bunch of perfect people in it, nobody thinks your characters are relatable because they can do no wrong. Therefore, what’s the problem in the story? How much is the character plotting, too? It is one thing that you have to figure out for yourself. If there’s one character in your story that you don’t feel particularly bonded to, then take the time to get to know that character a little bit more, to get to know their motivations in the storyline.
2. Don’t create any confusion
If you have a character who’s funny in your stories, you can write about why they need something funny in their life or how they use humor as a shield for something. You can talk about how your character’s best friend got their first puppy. If your character has red hair at the beginning of the book, don’t make them have blonde hair without saying that they colored their hair.
Another common bump in the road that people have is how to make their characters different. You must do this for most of your large characters, including your supporting ones. But then, if you’re sitting there mapping out ten different people, you might get a little confused about how to keep them unique to themselves. How do you do this? You give the character different traits.
So it is where you can have your characters have different voices. One character might use larger words than the others, or someone may speak more formally. Utilize all these things so that readers don’t feel confused about what the character is saying.
3. Describe your charming character
The big question writers have what descriptions they should use and when for their characters. You shouldn’t put a description of your character at the beginning of the book or that you should do it right away. We should get some tidbits of physical description about the main character immediately.
An example is from Divergent, the opening scene where Tris gets her hair cut. We get Tris’s physical appearance from this description, but it relates to the flow of the story. She sees herself for the first time in a year and her reflection. That scene is a great example of not forcing a character description on your readers.
Introduce your characters more than once. Show your character’s tiny scene at the beginning of the book. Later on, when that character becomes relevant to the story, the reader feels that they’re connected to the character. We are introduced to many characters throughout the first Harry Potter book and the second one who don’t become big players until later books. But we already felt like we knew them at some point.
4. Build a character profile
Teach yourself about the character. You should know their background, family history, work experience, and traumatic events that usually aren’t included on a resume. What do they spend their time doing? All these things will affect how they speak, what they want, how they try to get the things they want, and how they interact with other characters.
Make sure your funny characters have conflicting traits because people have conflicting traits. They aren’t completely good or evil. Also, everyone has different perspectives and morality is relative, and everyone has different life experiences that will shape how they see things. So don’t put your characters in one box because you can’t do that with real people.
Think about how your character should speak. If your dialogue feels inauthentic, your character will also feel inauthentic. If you have a severely uneducated character using elevated language, that will feel inauthentic. That’s not realistic dialogue, and it will make the reader not believe in the character either. They’ll think they’re poorly written or the character hides a secret life.
5. Make sure that your character has flaws and weaknesses
Charming characters need a weakness to overcome. So your plot will have elements of conflict, and then your characters will have a conflict with each other. But you need to have conflict inside of your character as well. That’s where the character change is going to come from. So what weaknesses does your character have to overcome and make sure that those weaknesses make sense for their background?
Ensure that their strengths make sense for their background. Know what your characters want. If they don’t want anything, they’re not going to have any drive to do anything. The most boring character in the world is a passive character. A static protagonist is boring, and nobody wants to read about a plot happening to a character. Your character should be propelling the plot forward and acting and reacting.
Don’t make all your characters the same. If your beta readers have trouble distinguishing between your characters, they’re too similar. One easy way to ensure that your characters are different enough is to use the 16 personality types so you can take one of the tests as your character or see where your character fits from. But if most of your characters fit under one or all personality types, that could indicate that your charming characters are too similar.
Make your characters diverse if they’re all straight and cisgender. Some people will make a list of diverse elements that they want to include in their character cast. So make sure that characters are diverse in race, religion, sex, gender orientation, mental abilities, background, experience, culture, and personality.
There are so many ways that people are different. So make a list if you have to and see what you can tweak about your characters to make sure that they are diverse from each other. If you have any questions or advice, please let me know about them in the comment section.
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