You have your plot worked out, and you have defined your characters. The next step is getting your characters to play nice and interact well with each other. The point here is to make sure that they interact in a realistic manner - one that flows, that does not seem forced. How do we do that?
Look back to how you defined the character - what do they like, what do they dislike, what is important to them. How do they see themselves? Are they leaders or followers, are they educated or blue collar, ar they risk takers, or do they fade into the woodwork? Our characters have to be true to themselves. Readers that can identify with the characters will stay with the story, they will become part of it. And they will look for us to be putting new stories out there.
Characters must be multi-dimensional. A one-dimensional charcter will lose the reader quickly - they are boring, and they really don't have a story to tell - either their own, or the one they are creating with the characters they are interacting with. Each character must also be a unique individual - a stereotypical portrayal wil also lose the reader, because they will know what the character is going to do before they do it.
The easiest way to get your characters to interact well is to take examples from your own life - people that you have interacted with, or how you have observed people interacting with each other. Take into account things like body language, and what that says about the person. Build a back-story into your character so that your readers will understand why they are acting as they are. Adding traits that are even a little annoying to the other person creates both humor and tension in a story. Relationships are not static - they change slightly with the events in the story. This reflects the reality of life.
Include lots of details! Who your characters are, why they act as they do, what their fears are, and how the environment plays into the story are very important. Make sure that the dialoge reflects the character correctly. Then there is the internal dialoge - where your characters are basically talking to themselves. Here we see the characters thought process, and their fears and anxieties.
Characters that interact well with each other, and are backed up by solid minor characters, will write your story for you!
In my next blog, I will be talking about how far we want to develop supporting characters.
(c) June 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission.