- By Winston Kuwada
- Published 10/8/2011
Many people try writing a novel to get on the best seller list, but often times they fail. Of course, there are plenty of steps to creating a wonderful novel that will get you on TV and the radio talking about how you write your amazing stories. People spend their whole lives going to writers workshops and boot camps trying to find the magic formula, but sometimes miss the most important ingredient. And that is the characters. If you have a wonderful novel with a fantastic story, but characters that aren’t believable or that nobody can sympathize with, then your novel will fall flat. First of all, you’ve got to make your characters as believable as possible. That means spending as much time as you possibly can. One way to do that is to interview them. It may sound strange, but it’s a great way to flesh out their strengths and weaknesses. Just sit down and write some questions, and then pretend they are writing the answers.
Another way to get to know them really well is imagine how they’d react to everyday situations. If you get yelled at by your boss, for example, imagine how they would react. If your sitting a
t home watching the news, imagine how your character would react. Even when watching TV shows and movies, imagine how your character would behave in those situations. Just like superheros, your character should have a major weakness. Something that they need to struggle with as they make their way through whatever problems they encounter. And make sure this weakness is something that plenty of people can identify with, so while they read your book, they can imagine themselves in your character’s shoes. This is essential for creating a character that people care about. It can help if this weakness is due to something that happened in their past, especially when they were a child. Everybody has trauma that they’ve carried with them since childhood, so this will further help your audience to fall in love with your character. And of course, when your character faces the “make or break” point in the story, they also must be facing their own inner demons at the same time. That way, when they overcome both their own personal shortcomings, and the major obstacle in the story, it will pack one terrific punch.
When you follow these steps, you’ll create a story that will be read and enjoyed by millions.