Thursday 7 April 2011

Keep Characters Authentic

Tell Me A Story - Tips

I loathe it when I’m reading a novel, and a protagonist, for no logical reason, does something out of character. I recently tossed a book to one side because of it - no, I'm not citing names, I don't want a lawsuit in my face, but I’m sure you know what I'm talking about.

Characters should seem authentic.

Most of us have seen it at some time. I wonder how some authors get away with it. For heaven’s sake, we are supposed to think that characters are REAL. If a character is withdrawn they're not about to make a career in television presenting, are they? They wouldn't do it in real life, so why in a story.

I’m an expert on shyness. I'm quiet (well mostly), I am definitely not an extrovert. In fact I was interviewed on a radio chat show a while ago, and was full of panic. I dislike being the centre of attention - so why put fictional characters in ludicrous situations? It simply does not work.

Character's aspirations and responses should always be consistent within the framework of the story. Don't allow them do phoney things just to make a shoddy passage seem better. Your readers might start reaching for another book if you do....

Make your characters authentic. Make them plausible! Keep your readers turning those pages.

Romantic Suspense

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