February, 2010

13 ways to create compelling characters

1. Make the character exceptional at something.

Give your character a trait or skill that makes him or her admirable in some way.

It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top. Maybe she’s an office manager…who is an amazing cook. Maybe he’s a rebellious teenager…who is unusually perceptive.

As soon as that character is really good at something, the reader perks up. The reader gets interested.

2. Make the character care about someone other than herself.

This is so effective that screenwriters often use a “save the cat” scene (and the better the screenwriter, the subtler the scene) near the beginning of the screenplay to make the audience like and identify with the character. That character might be a hard-drinking, womanizing, self-absorbed prick….except on his way out the door he stops to pet a dog and give him a treat, or get a cat out of a tree, or send money to his mama. Boom. We like him. click here


Feb 1, 2010 · 27 Comments / ADD YOURS