How to Create Believable Characters for a Story

A lot of people struggle to write believable characters. Sometimes you can use your imagination to create a completely unique character, but they are sometimes difficult to relate to. The truth is, the most believable and best characters are based in real life. Even you do come up with something completely from scratch, chances are many of the traits are based on real life.

Steps

  1. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 1
    1
    Don't worry about the name. Focus on what your character is like. The characteristics will often help you choose a name to fit with them, and you build your character around their personality.
  2. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 2
    2
    Make sure your idea fits the story. If you're writing a horror with teens and an evil old man, it is unlikely a woman in her mid-thirties will fit in.
  3. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 3
    3
    Use real people, but in moderation. Don't be afraid to use real people's personalities. If you want believable characters, then real life is your best bet. If you wish, you could also use someone's appearance if you're having trouble. However, never base a character solely on a real person. Add plenty of your own creativity, or maybe mix a few people together.
  4. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 4
    4
    Know your characters! Although it may be time-consuming, it is key to write a back-story for each character. You need to know important characters inside-out. This means you will know how they will react to any situation, and how they interact with others.
  5. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 5
    5
    Trust your instincts. If something seems wrong to you, it probably is. If you get halfway through your back-story, and you feel that it could be better, go back and improve it. It's better to take more time than have an end product that you're not happy with.
  6. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 6
    6
    Get other people's opinions.When you are happy with your character, and have finished the back-story, write a few chapters with the character. Take it to friends and relatives, and ask them to read it. The more people who read it, the more chance of someone noticing a flaw.
  7. Image titled Create Believable Characters for a Story Step 7
    7
    Practice! It may seem like a cliché, but practice really does make perfect. Each time you come up with a new character, even you will notice the improvements.

Tips

  • When finding people to review your character, try to avoid people who are really close to you. They mean well, but often won't mention the flaws.
  • Don't forget, your imagination adds that something extra which makes a great character.
  • Consider adding some of your own traits to your characters. This can add a personal touch to your story, and will likely make writing it much easier.
  • Go out and meet people - each new person gives you more to work with.

Warnings

  • NEVER use just one person as the whole character, especially if the character is depicted as being an unsavoury person. It will rarely end with no harm done.

Article Info

Categories: Character Creation