The Secret to Writing Realistic Characters is.... #WritingTips

REAL CHARACTERS RELY ON EMPATHY

Empathetic  = “like me.”
Reader Logic:
This character is like me. Therefore, I want him to have whatever it is he wants, because if I were in those circumstances, I’d want the same thing for myself.”

READERS BECOME CHARACTERS THEY CONNECT WITH.
When characters cross the line readers see where their own lines are.
Would they do the same in their situation?
How did it feel to cross the line?

THE LIKABLE CHARACTER

Empathetic – “LIKE ME” QUALITIES.

Loyal
Caring
Friendly
Strong












CHARACTERS DO NOT HAVE TO BE LIKEABLE!
However, Readers need to understand their motivation! 

If you write a character who does terrible things without any reason, readers will abandon them.
Get your reader to understand why your character is doing something —good or bad — and they have a reason to support and root for your character.
Even if that character is morally ambiguous. 
When the reader understands a character’s reason for doing bad stuff, They’re more likely to put up with a lot of the character’s crap to see if and how they achieve their goals.



THE UNLIKABLE CHARACTER
A good character with personality flaws is more endearing because they mirror us. We may pretend to like a goody-two-shoes but secretly we hate them, right?
Empathetic– “LIKE ME” QUALITIES.
Have Flaws
Bad Days
Say Things They Don’t Mean
React Poorly To Their Situation



MAKING AN UNLIKABLE CHARACTER MORE PALATABLE.

  • Surround unlikable characters with characters who love them.

If the other characters don’t mind them, readers accept that they must be all right deep down.

  • Make them an expert at something.

A character’s unlike-ability is almost completely cancelled out if they are very good at what they do.

  • Make them morally ambiguous, but not annoying.

A characters morality flaws can be accepted as long as the reader is interested in them.

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