Category Archives: The craft of writing

Invest in your characters of your book


Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as a reader I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.

If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like, while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read to the end.

How strong are our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format is simple: Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?

Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how it happen to this other character that is in the book. The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.

Also talk about your characters weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.

Invest in your characters and they will do wonders for your book.

Do writers compete with each other?

There are so many writing contests out there. All one has to do is search online or look inside one of the magazines for writing you might subscribe to or pick up to read. They come in every genre, word count and theme it seems possible.

However, do you make it a contest with other authors on who has the next book out? Who has the best cover? Who has the best story? We grow up, at least my generation, being told to compete, that winning is all that matters or being ahead or the best is where it is at.

But does this trickle down to writers? I think it does. I believe people try to best each other at every turn. Do we admit it to ourselves or others? No, we don’t. Instead I hear writers with t he remarks that clearly speaks volumes of how they are in essence ahead of so and so. You also hear how well they are doing in comparison to this or that writer. If you go to a seminar or class for writing just look around and pay attention to those around you.

It’s a shame really. There is space and room for all of us to showcase our work. Writing is already a solitary profession. Why make it even more so?