Writing Consistent Main Characters

Your main character is the most important part of your story, right?  That’s why it is so important to make them believable, consistent, and relatable.  Readers want to get attached to your characters so it is the author’s job to allow them to be able to do that.  Here’s some tips on how to do this.

First, give your character a set list of values, hopes, dreams, and goals.  Give your characters a core personality that they will more or less follow throughout the story.  You want your readers to be comfortable with your character and making them super nice and caring one day and a rude bully the next day will just frustrate your readers.  They want to know who your character is!

Second, write down specifics about your character (this goes for secondary and minor characters as well).  When writing a long novel, you may forget that your character has a scar on his or her upper lip, a slight limp, or red hair.  You may forget, but your readers won’t!  Don’t let this happen.  Write a list of your character’s traits, important qualities, and attitudes and make sure to go back and review them every once in a while.

Third, you can break your character’s consistency if the situation warrants it.  If you want to make a nice person into a killer, put them into a believable situation that will make them into one.  (Such as a family member has been kidnapped and they want to get them back).  Anomalies and inner conflicts move a story forward and will make your character seem like a real person.

Fourth, try to really understand your main character.  Put yourselves in their shoes and really try to figure out who you want them to be, then stick with it.

Hope this helps.  If you have any more ideas on how to create a consistent character, leave a comment!



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