For most people reading books allows them to escape the real world. This usually means they would like to either cherish the story or the characters. Today, I– @muah_muah_puppy— am giving you tips on how to effectively build good characters.

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establish their history

A character's past is what brings them to where they currently are. It influences their motives and choices. You need to figure out their past, circumstances that define them, possible trauma they faced and why they are where we see them. This deepens readers' understanding of a character. Craft a rich and compelling backstory and define their ghost. A ghost is an aspect of a character's past that haunts them(usually in the form of grief, guilt or anger).

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consider what they love and desire

Love is often the greatest motivator. What or who does your character love the most? This lets your audience know what they're willing to fight for. And by establishing their desires you're telling your audience what they envision for themselves in an ideal world and why they feel that dream is unattainable(at least at the moment).

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make every character complex

I'm sure you can agree that one-dimensional characters are not fun to read in the slightest. They're boring and unrelatable. Give them traits that make them seem human– if they are. Good qualities, as well as flaws. This may be harder to do for secondary and tertiary characters, however, to ensure these characters who don't have as much time on the screen feel realistic, consider slipping in one or two small details that hint at their complexity.

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make them relatable

Readers want to feel like your characters are actual humans(or creatures) that could easily exist somewhere. They don't necessarily need to find the characters likeable, but having traits they could see in themselves or others is important, no matter the role the character plays in your story.

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showcase their emotional variety

One dimensional characters often have one emotion they are in throughout the entire course of the story. The moody character's always frowning no matter what's happening and, unless that's what you're going for, you really don't want that(especially with major characters). Let us see what makes them laugh, cry, roll their eyes, frustrated and seethe with anger. This can be done by allowing your characters to fail and suffer, but not forgetting to take them to their happy place too. This wide range of emotions only adds to their intricacy.

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give them a goal

What do they want in the end? What is all their fighting for? Their intention? This prompts the actions they take and the conflicts they experience. This will also help you address the plot with clarity and assurance.

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determine what they want and need

When your character first lands on your page, they are dissatisfied with their life somehow(or will likely become dissatisfied shortly). What do they want to change? That being said, often what you want is not what you need to resolve issues. If this is true for your character, you should figure out what they need to live a happier life and differentiate this from what they want.

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establish their relationships

Good or bad, our relationships usually shape a big part of the way we think and see others. You should know their familial relationships, platonic and romantic relationships(past or present), and convey them to readers when needed.

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make them stop and think

If your character isn't overly impulsive, it's important to make them pause and think about their decisions. Let's see their thought process when weighing out the pros and cons of a decision: what they think is right and wrong; what they'll never do and what they're willing to let slide.

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It's sometimes hard to write good characters that have an impact on the people who read them so wanting to explore your characters more is a great step you've made! Thanks for reading this article and I hope these 9 tips gave you a helping hand❦︎