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13 Things All Writers Should Do To Make Readers Love Their Characters

From your imagination to their hearts.

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November is halfway over now, which means that in just a few weeks, NaNoWriMo will come to a close. Every writer is thinking - what's next? How can I get my word count up to 50,000? Whether you've already finished your novel, only written one chapter, or haven't bothered participating in NaNoWriMo this month, there are still so many daunting tasks ahead. What's supposed to happen next? Why is this character annoying me? How do I write words? So, here's a list of some helpful tips for creating amazing, badass, and dynamic characters. You're welcome.

1. Take ALL the personality tests

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Ever wondered which Meyer's Briggs type your character is? What about their star sign? Alignment? Or, if you're really feeling it (aka, just distracting yourself from writing), take a quiz to see what type of bread they are.

2. Create ~mood~ boards

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Tumblr and Pinterest are full of them. I have entire Pinterest boards dedicated to all my characters (they're secret, of course). It's helpful for me to Pin quotes and pictures that remind me of characters. Then I go there for inspiration!

3. Create their family tree

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And if you're super creative (or maybe, super bored), make your character and their entire family on the Sims.

4. What would your character NOT do?

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If you're stumped about what's next, make a list of all the things that are NOT next for your character. If you know what they wouldn't do, it will be easier to figure out what they will do.

5. Make a list of all the things the reader will never know about your character

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Enter the tragic backstories! All those random facts you know about your character that will likely never make it to the story? Write them down. This will help you understand your character better and hopefully, make the writing path clearer.

6. What was happening in your characters life right before the story began?

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Similar to #5, think about where your character came from, just before you started writing.

7. Talk to real life people

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I hate talking to people as much as the next introvert, but many of my deepest, most genuine character interactions that I've written were inspired by conversations with friends and family. Tell your friends that you've having trouble with a scene - an outside perspective could come in handy.

8. Awaken your inner Shakespeare

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Draft a soliloquy for your character. Something they would say if they were in a play about their life, center stage. It may feel silly, but it can help with development, and if anything, it's fun.

9. Make a list of the most unusual things about your character

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What are their ~quirks~? Think about it. Write it down.

10. Make a list of the most boring, normal things about your character

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We can't all be quirky.

11. Transport your character

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Imagine what would happen if you picked up your character and dropped them in an entirely different world, like into one of your favorite books or movies. Write a short story on it.

12. Read some books

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Honestly, one of the best solutions for when you're stuck. See what other authors do.

13. And if all else fails, take a step back

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Sometimes, you just need to take a moment to get away from your character. Maybe they're exhausting you. Maybe you need some perspective. Maybe you really should trash them. Writing is exhausting. You rock.

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