Characters are at the Heart of the Story

Characters are at the heart of every story. Without a strong hero, a book is often forgettable. This is why series are so popular. People come back not for whatever mystery or crime Stephanie Plum will be tackling, but because they love Stephanie herself. And Lula. And Grandma Mazur. And Joe. And Ranger. These characters become so familiar, it’s like they are our friends.

Jack Reacher. Scrooge. Andy Carpenter. Atticus Finch. Sherlock Holmes. Willy Wonka. Miss Havisham. Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf. Harry Potter. These larger-than-life characters stick with us because they’re so brilliantly drawn. They have clear and strong personality traits and goals.

Creating Larger-that-Life Characters

Creating a larger-than-life character of your own. Start by making a few key decisions:

  • Gender Identity
  • Age
  • One word to describe temperament (shy, boisterous, angry, compliant…)
  • What does this character want more than anything? Make the stakes high!
  • Write a scene which SHOWS what your character wants without stating it directly. 
How do your characters react? Read more HERE.

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Melissa Bourbon is the national bestselling author of more than twenty-eight novels. She is a teacher, coach, podcaster, and writer. She has applied her love of teaching to the creation of WriterSpark Academy, an online school for aspiring and new writers seeking to hone their craft. Learn more about Melissa at her website,