Monday, September 13, 2010

Deepening Your Characters, part two

Real characters keep the reader reading. If they don't care about the characters, they probably won't want to finish the book. Last week, we started to learn how to do this with some basic rules. Now, I have an assignment for you to complete. It's only part of what you can do, but this will get you started. I'll add to it next week.

Answer these questions:

Who is your protagonist?

What is his/her obvious need as the story opens?

What is the protagonist’s hidden need?

What are you trying to get across in the book?

What is the message in one word?

What is a question about the word?

What is the answer to that question?

Where in the Bible can you find an example of this?

The answer to the question is your protagonist’s hidden need. He/she must come to this conclusion.

In the first quarter of the book, you need to make the reader care about the characters. Your characters must engage the reader by what is happening to them and how they feel about it.

Next week, we'll find out even more about our characters with another part to the assignment. Remember, knowing your characters deeply will enhance your writing. It will also help if you are blocked.

Let us know if you found out anything you may not have known with this small exercise. Let me know if it's helped in any way.


  1. Hello, Oli here! ^_^

    These questions have given me food for thought. Thanks! I know I personally have difficulties writing good main characters. They tend to be bland.

    I can't wait to see more.


  2. Thanks...that does help.
    Especially the part about defining the point of the story in one word. I kind of knew it in the back of my head, but I never really consciously thought about it. For me, the message in one word is probably "Truth."