How To Create Memorable Characters for Your Stories

Creating characters can be a tough cookie to face when forming your story. It’s easy to craft a cardboard character, slap a name on them, tell the reader how they look and call it a day. But how do you dive deep and produce a character that appears in best seller novels? How do you leave the reader with an attachment to a fictional character? Well, continue reading the post to find out how.

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#1 Give Them Quirks

One of my favorite things while crafting characters would have to be giving them quirks. I love quirks. I’m quirky myself. Most everyone in the world has quirks so why shouldn’t your character have them as well? We’ve included our free list to give you some fresh ideas of quirks you can give to your characters. Just make sure to only pick a few as too many can be overwhelming.

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#2 Add Depth

Ever shut a book because the main character was shallow? Yeah, me too. Shallowness for main characters is a big no no, therefor adding depth to them is essential. Well, how do you do that? You’ve got to add layers. Add scars. Add a past. Give them reasons as to why they have fears or do the things they do. Below, we cover more ways you can add depth. Just remember, your character is an iceberg.

#3 Get to Know Them

Think of them even when you aren’t writing. Think of them before and beyond your story. Interview them. Ask them hard questions. If you don’t know how to make one up, just wing it, sometimes the best characters are made that way.

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#4 Give Them Negative Traits / Flaws

Everyone has flaws so your characters need flaws. They make them seem more real. Make them pop out of the page and grab the reader by their shirt and yank them into their world. Just like quirks you don’t want to give them too many flaws. Make sure you give them positive things about them as well. You can get a free printable of both below. Or just click here

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#5 Give Them Music

Adding a playlist to your story is extremely beneficial to stirring emotion for yourself and providing a wealth of inspiration. So go ahead and create a playlist in an app like Spotify or 8tracks, then pick a few songs that describe your character. Can’t find any good music? Read this here

Don’t copy and paste everything, but little unnoticeable things. Craft them after real people, you, fake people, celebrities, authors, etc. I know many times that writers are known for writing their foes in their novels, but it doesn’t have to be a foe either. 

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#7 Write Their Journals

Write stuff that won’t go in your story. Create a backlog of journal entries that can serve as a free writing session before you begin writing the rough draft of your story. Hold nothing back acting as you’re character, let them run the keyboard for that time. 

#8 Use Our Character Fill-In Template

So of course this one is a bit biased of me. But even if you don’t purchase our template, make sure you write the details of your character down somewhere. This can be in Evernote (which our product has a template for), in Scrivener, Google Docs (we again have this template), or just a piece of paper. Write down things from appearance to their journal entries.

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters
You can also grab our FREE minor character template worksheet

#9 Write Their Backstory

What was your character like before the story started? Explain why they are the way they are. Write down their full history. Weave in all the details. Don’t worry, not all of this will be included in your rough draft. You’ll just want to refer to this to sprinkle in backstory here and there in the draft.

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

#10 Give Them Motives

Like people, your characters need reasons for why they do things. What pushes them throughout the story? What is the one thing they won’t? What will they do to get it? Keep this note close by as it will be one of the main driving forces in your story. 

#11 Surprise Your Readers By Them

Ah, an extra point I decided to throw in. Surprise your readers by making the character an unlikely choice for the task at hand. In The Hobbit was Bilbo really the best choice to be the burglar? Nope. But that’s what made him so likable, he proved everyone wrong. He kept the reader in suspense. He made readers believe they could do unlikely things that faced them. I strongly believe that characters like these are what makes up bestsellers. 

Well, there you have it folks. Do you have any tips on how to craft memorable characters? ✏️ Let us know your answer in the comment section below so we can chat about it! 💬

How to Create Memorable Characters | #Writing #NaNoWriMo #AmWriting #Characters

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