Great Blogging Experiment.
What makes a character compelling? What is that secret ingredient that makes us care about what happens to them? Below I’ve listed a few elements that add to a character’s charm.
Believability: characters should come across as real. Not cardboard cut outs. Compelling characters should be like onions. They should have more than one layer. They need to have depth, history, motivations, goals.
Relatability: characters should have traits we can all relate to. We like the people we connect with the most.
Flawed: characters who have flaws are more interesting and believable and in turn become more relatable. No one likes a perfect person. No one likes a perfectly bad person either.
Conflict: even the most interesting character becomes boring if they are placed in a story with no conflict. Our characters need challenges to overcome.
Envy: This might sound strange, but even a boring person becomes interesting when they have something we want. I’ll travel through a book with a bland character and hardly notice their blandness if they are living the life I want to live, overcoming the odds I want to overcome.
Uniqueness: the same ole clichéd characters we’ve all seen before won’t pique our interested. We should try to give them something new, something unexpected.
Consistency: characters need to react in a consistent way. We put our guard up when they do something totally unexpected without motivation.
Likeability: No one likes a whinger. Even a whinging villain can become a groan.
Can you think of other elements that make up a compelling character?