A writing maxim states: “Character is story, and story is character.” It’s true–a lot of people would pay good money to hear a great actor recite the phone directory, yet to lift an ordinary person to that level, he/she must have qualities and a situation that commands us to read. A great fictional character has certain characteristics. We love a character who is “larger-than-life,” that is in addition to being unique this person is somehow every man or woman. Yet the less even this character has a desperate need or problem, the harder it will be to convince readers to stick around. If you use interesting people in trouble as your guide to building characters, you’ll create characters who are much more memorable–and readable.
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