Recently I received a very good review of my novel, HECKEL CASEY (amzn.to/Riz4UU). The reviewer said that “the characters are believable, even the supernatural ones.” My first reaction was awesome! What a great compliment. I wanted to be sure to do it again, but first I had to figure out what I did to make those characters come to life.
As I thought about it further, I think the most important element that forms a believable character is what comes out of their mouth. When that character speaks, it reveals volumes about their attitudes, feelings, etc. We can make that person sound ignorant by throwing in a bunch of double negatives or lousy grammar. Similarly, an author can make that evil queen sound like she is right out of Oxford. As an author that’s where being a good listener helps one to be able to write convincing dialogue. Being a bit shy and more introverted, I think I’ve always been a good listener. So I guess it’s paying off.
Another factor that I believe creates believable characters is how well they are fleshed out. A good description can help a reader identify with your leading man or woman. It’s a little like playing God. I want my readers to like the people I write about, even if they are bad.
Next, there are the emotions. I think instilling appropriate emotions to a character really connects with a reader. In HECKEL CASEY, the antagonist is named Madeline Blackwell. Throughout most of the book, she is the epitome of evil, embracing power and reveling in it. Without giving away too much, there is a moment when she lets her guard down and has feelings of love.
Often when I write, I think about people who I know. They become the blueprint for the character in my story. I can draw from their mannerisms, their favorite expressions, their moods, etc. I once worked with someone who had all these colorful, folksy expressions. I wrote them all down and they were great for one of the characters. I felt it personalized the individual and the story.
So if you’re looking for a fast paced, thriller, let me suggest a story with strong believable characters, HECKEL CASEY. You can pick your copy up from Amazon (http://amzn.to/M8n2wB) or Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/Np82sP).