Bringing Your Characters to Life- 7 Quick Tips

Shelia M. GossWHO ARE YOU? That’s the first question I ask my characters. Before you begin writing the world’s next best seller, there is something important you must do–know your characters.

1. Your character may not volunteer information at first, so you must interview the character. Make the character speak to you until you can’t shut it up.

  • Start off simple, by finding out the basics: Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Siblings, Parents, Height, Weight
  • Dig a little deeper. Find out your characters likes and dislikes.
  • What is your character’s history? Remember this information will help you as you write your story.

2. Whether you’re writing romance or science fiction, make your characters realistic to the story that you’re writing. Ask yourself, do you believe the character is real in the world that you created?

3. You must have at least ONE central character in your story. For example, even if you’re writing about an entire family, one of those characters should stand out as your central character.

4. Life brings emotions; make sure you give your characters emotions for the various situations they will face within your story.

5. Create names that fit your character. A name doesn’t sound like it’s too important, but names are just as important as personality traits.

6. Make sure to answer these questions:

  • What is the driving force behind the character’s motives and actions?
  • How do the other characters view your main character?

7. Create realistic dialogue. Dialogue can set your story’s tone. It can also reveal several things about your character’s personality.

Note: To help you create a dynamic three dimensional character, fill out the character chart located at:

Shelia M. Goss

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Shelia M. Goss is a national best-selling author and a 2012 Emma Award Finalist. She has over thirteen books in print and over seven books as ebooks. She writes in multiple genres. USA Today says, “Goss has an easy, flowing style with her prose…” To learn more, visit her website:

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6 thoughts on “Bringing Your Characters to Life- 7 Quick Tips

  1. Ladyrt23

    The tips listed are useful information. Im on a journey of writing my first novel. Im in my preparation stage. Just outlining the overall setting of the story.

  2. Ebony Nicole Smith

    I just started working on my second novel; I wish I had this information prior to finishing my first. The Character Chart is amazing. I have copied the chart into a word document and will use it for each of my characters in my new novel. The page is so informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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