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How to make a character more real to a reader

Jean's Writing

Now that you’ve decided on a terrific name for your characters, what next?

Real or imagined. Memoir or fiction. Doesn’t matter. Same rules apply.

Turn flat into fabulous!

The characters must come alive in a manuscript and jump from the page into a reader’s heart. If not, they stop reading.

So how do we go about breathing life into these flawed creatures?

  • Each character must have a defining description. Something unique to them.
  • Make comparisons and/or contrasts with another character. Plain Jane is best friends with Fanny Fashionista.
  • Give them something to collect, obsess over, or talent.
  • Everyone has a pet peeve, even a small one. Don’t leave it out of the story.
  • What’s in her purse, pocket, car, closet? What will she not leave home without?
  • Don’t forget her diary, journal or the divorce decree. Search out and include legal and private documents.
  • How does your character talk? Texas twang, Southern…

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About The Owl Lady

Viv Drewa is a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though she studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan, her passion has always been writing. She had been awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about her grandfather's escape from Poland. Later, she rewrote this story and was published in the "Polish American Journal" as "From the Pages of Grandfather's Life" and has republished it on Amazon.com as a short story. Viv took creative and journalism courses to help in her transition to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. She worked as an intern for Port Huron's 'The Times Herald", and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter "Thumb Prints." She also has a business promoting authors. Owl and Pussycat Book Promotions. Viv, her husband Bob and their cat Princess, live in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

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