More than fiction
This topic is written about and covered in multiple blogs but time and again, people continue to write hollow characters. The truth is, your characters need to be people you could see in everyday life- even if they are half goat, half dragon beasts. If they are sentient or can speak, they need to be flawed, breakable and alive.
I will give you a breakdown of what I mean.
- Do they have a back story? If the answer to this is anything but yes, then you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole to failure. While you don’t have to have every single year of their birth written down, your character has to have lived a life before the start of your novel, even if they’re only twelve years old.
- Are they faulted? No matter how perfect they are to you, if they have no faults or errors, then your audience will not be able to connect with them and thus won’t love them too. Even a minor scratch to their perfect facade would make them more relatable- but I wouldn’t recommend leaving them so godlike.
- Do they have redeemable qualities? While they shouldn’t be untouchable and flawless, your characters should still have at least one good quality about them. Even your antagonist should be redeemable. Even if their fate is death, they shouldn’t just be a mass of pure evil, or your audience will struggle to understand them.
- Are they one-dimensional? Do they like juggling for the sake of liking it or did they learn the hobby after going to the circus on their seventh birthday? Every fact and stray line in your character profile needs to be there for a reason. Even if your character just wants to do something for the sake of knowing it, state the reason. A multifaceted character will portray as human thus allowing your audience to relate and adore them that much easier.
If you leave your characters one-dimensional, history-less and too perfect or irredeemable, you are going to struggle with conveying believable people to your audience. This can lead to a lack of interest in your manuscript.