When someone is too bossy or nosy, have you ever said, "Get a life?"
Why? Because that person is concentrating on yours, instead of his or her own?
As a writer, when crafting your characters, make sure they get a life. To keep them from being cardboard cutouts, they need to be stand out in their own right. How do you achieve this?
Here are some ways:
GMC - goal, motivation and conflict. Give your characters real wants and needs, reasons for wanting them, then throw in roadblocks to thwart them from achieving their goals.
Give your characters certain speech patterns. You might not expect a church-going old lady to swear, but you could expect that language from a teenager. That said, if that same little old lady gets boxed into a corner, to dramatize a situation, you could have her break down and let loose with a string of profanities she's never dreamed she'd ever use. Afterwards, she'd be just as shocked as the reader. You could also give characters favorite words they like to use.
Other ways to give your characters lives would be to emphasize unique ways of dressing, particular hobbies, or identifying habits. A character who enjoys black coffee seems more straightforward and down to earth than one who takes cream and sugar, or maybe a latte'.
Can you think of other ways to give life to characters? Or, examples of how you've achieved this in one of your novels? Or, maybe how someone else has done it? Please share.
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