Every Monday, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website!
This week welcomes a guest post from author Kailyn McFerrin, on writing believable characters.
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Guest Post from the Author
Writing a Believable Character
How do I handle character in my stories? I think about all the interesting people I’ve met and what makes one person stand out from another. It might be their looks, their voice, their clothing, their triumphs and tragedies, or the way they view life. I take these unique characteristics and find ways to make them even more interesting.
Just as in real life, characters on a page should change and develop throughout your story. This is a natural process and should happen to make them a more believable or likeable character. As an author, you can write without this type of development, but those stories are usually noted just for that reason – a character’s refusal or inability to learn or respond to the events surrounding them.
To develop a memorable story, don’t let your characters drift around in this arc. Plan their growth and reactions with events, interaction with other characters, and from inner turmoil or deep-seeded conflicts. Often characters are at war with themselves or their beliefs, and this can affect their growth or change for the better or worse.
Here are some things you might consider when attempting to create a multi-dimensional character in your story.
- Do they have resentments, anger issues or grudges against someone in particular? You might call this their inner demons that haunt or distract them from moving forward in their life.
- How do they feel about themselves? Often a character’s self-image is their greatest determent and what they preserve as a fault may not exist at all. For example, they might believe they’re ugly, insignificant, or inept. If any of these are the case, the changes they experience may not be recognized until the very end of your story.
- Does something happen to cause immediate change? If your story involves a catastrophe, a rescue attempt by a mild mannered character could boost his moral and help him recognize his true potential or capabilities.
- It could be your characters are resistance to change, which could stall their progression. Denial, rebellion, shock or disbelief would hold them back, but when realization takes hold and they open themselves up to possibilities, the change could be dramatic.
- Most importantly…don’t force your characters to change through unnatural contrived situations. The change they undergo needs to feel natural and reactive to what’s going on around them. Admitting they’re wrong can be expected but shouldn’t be instantaneous or it’s simply not believable.
- Your character’s choices, refusal to make decisions, and changes will affect other characters in your story too. This will set off other character developments, agendas, and reactions. Most people don’t live in a void and your character shouldn’t either. –Kaylin McFarren
From the Featured Author
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing LLC
Publication Date: November 20, 2017
Praise for Twisted Threads
Book Tour Schedule
Other Books by Kaylin McFarren
Severed Threads (Book One)
A deep-sea diving expedition turns deadly, leaving bodies in the wake of this page-turning treasure hunting adventure
“With plenty at stake, erotic chemistry, dastardly villains, a lost relic, an unusual setting, and a touch of the supernatural, this indie novel could stand on any romance publisher’s shelf. The full package of thrills and romance.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Buried Threads (Book Two)
Overcoming death threats by the Japanese mafia is only the beginning in this heart-racing, action-packed thriller
“If you’re a fan of murder mysteries but eschew the usual genre-formatted adventures that offer too-predictable protagonists and not enough depth, it’s time to take a look at Buried Threads: a horse of another color. More than a murder mystery, this mingles a treasure hunt, an international race against time, a dark prophecy, Japanese culture, erotic encounters and a clever killer’s modus operandi into a story that just won’t quit.”
– Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review
Banished Threads (Book Three)
A romantic escape to England is far from restful when the lives of family members hang in the balance
” Readers will get quite a thrill from McFarren’s latest Threads novel! Chase and Rachel are back in this fast-paced romantic suspense, based in an art gallery in England. It’s full of family drama, stolen art, kidnapping, and even more exciting sex between the globetrotting couple. The story moves along at a brisk pace with plenty of peripheral characters to keep things interesting.”
– Romantic Times
Severed Threads (eBook)
Buried Threads (eBook)
Banished Threads (eBook)
Twisted Threads (eBook)
About Kaylin McFarren