Creating Believable, Relatable Characters

A character has to be more than a physical person that someone can vision in their mind. Just like a real person, the character must have feelings, emotions, opinions, and values. But they must also have faults. These different attributes must come through in the actions they portray in the book. These must be shown through their conversations since we cannot physically see them, except in our own minds.

For my characters, I start with the names. Once I have a name, I can build the character based on characteristics of the person’s name I use. In most chases the first and last names are from different people, and in many cases, I change the spelling.

The physical characters of the person must reflect their inner personalities. One of my characters is dressed in dark, muted colors and wears no makeup to reflect a subdue character who is very sure of herself and comfortable in her skin. Then again, you might need to have an upscale happy character really covering up a shady past. The character, both internal and external, must reflect his role in the story. But they must always be real in the minds of the readers and someone they can relate too; maybe even reminds them of someone they know.

What were your processes in creating your characters? Do you have any tips for character creation? Comment them down below or send me a tweet @DrJamesFrazee.


James Frazee

Author, The Mosquito Bites

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