Every second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or give you insight on her process as an author. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website!
This week features Shannon’s thoughts on what makes a character worth caring about.
In a recent piece, I talked about what makes a character attractive to a reader. The ultimate thing I emphasized is that a character should be worth caring about. This would be true whether a hero, anti-hero, or antagonist.
After I posted that, I realized that the idea of “worth caring about” might need a little fleshing out, and perhaps might be a bit over-simplified. It would certainly be plausible to find a character to be interesting, and yet not care about how the character progresses. I even realize I’ve read a few stories like this, where the character’s own story and background are interesting, but when the writer actually tries to use this character in a plot it feels forced and stilted – therefore, while I find the character to be one I might care about, I don’t necessarily care about the character in the story’s context.
The bottom line, then, is not to just create characters your readers will find interesting but to place them in a plot that brings out the nature of those characters to the fullest.
Until next time,