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Today’s topic comes courtesy of The Great Blogging Experiment. Go check it out, because there are (at the time of this post) 174 bloggers signed up to write about the same topic in one giant chain of character blogginess. Shutup, spellcheck, that is too a word.
As anyone popping over from the Experiment may not know, this blog is almost all character-related. I talk about my characters. I talk about what makes them tick, why I love them, and why other people love them. I splash in a little bit of world-building and the occasional writing advice, but mostly this is a blog about the way my characters are developing. How I am trying to make them grow and learn and become compelling characters to read about.
So what do I think makes a compelling character? Struggle. There must be some internal struggle that lets you know they aren’t just a cut and paste paper doll. Kindra struggles with what she wants in life versus what she promised her father. Rebecca struggles with her secrets (so many secrets and lies). Apollo struggles with guilt, Holly struggles with stress of all sorts. Everyone has a problem that they have to learn to deal with, and none of them gets it right the first time. Or even the second time. They aren’t perfect. They all struggle with life and they all struggle with balancing what they want to do with what they should do. Just like you and me.
That’s really what makes a character feel real. That’s what makes them compelling.
For other takes on what makes a character compelling, don’t forget to check out The Great Blogging Experiment!