Tuesday, April 5, 2011


How do you create believable characters? In particular your protagonist? Your protagonist should be likeable, although sometimes they can be unlikable... So what qualities do you need to make him likeable?

  1. QUIRKS - A quirk is one way to make him/her real. For instance, John Dunham get nauseous whenever something evil is near him.

  2. EMOTIONS - Your character must feel things. Again John hates vampires with good reason, since they ripped his family apart. He loves Annie. He cares about others. He laughs, cries and gets angry. He is, also, afraid!

  3. Mannerisms - Imbue your character with realistic movements. You can borrow these from the world around you.

  4. Vulnerability- Make your character vulnerable. We, the readers, want the suspense about whether your protagonist will survive.

Suite 101 has some valuable insights into creating a believable protagonist.

Next time, I'll write about how to create realistic villains. I met Lee Lofland at a writer's conference and he has some good tips on creating believable villains on his blog, The Graveyard Shift.

Good Writing!

Rita L. Smith


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