As writers, we sometimes forget the little things. I wanted to write a blog article that would cover some of the elements readers look for in books. Without these elements, you may find it hard to make your story enjoyable. Let’s take a look…
Some characters have questions, and some characters have answers. Often, characters have answers that they never want to share with anyone. Answers that would be secrets. Dark secrets, scary secrets, weird and odd secrets that they don’t want you, the reader, to find out… until it’s time for you to find out.
A Little Bit of Motivation
Just like living, breathing humans—characters want things. They are motivated by desires and requirements. In many cases, they spend an entire story trying to fulfill a dream or an ambition. This is one of the base requirements of a story. What does your character want? What are his or her motives? If you can’t explain this, then the story will fall apart.
Connections Are Everything
Characters need connections to other characters. These don’t need to be desired connections. They can be connections that the character is actively trying to deny. But they need to be there. They help make the character the character. Without connection to other characters, you will find the story falling pretty flat.
Strengths & Flaws
Characters who have absolutely no skills are dull. Readers really like to find characters who are really good at something. The best doctor? The best zombie hunter? The best detective? But at the same time, characters can’t be perfect. They have to be relatable. So, be sure to give your characters well-rounded skillsets, and make them as realistic and as relatable as possible.
Everyone has emotion—even if we don’t like to show it. Characters have to have some kind of emotion to actually exist within the fabric of the book. Love? Desire? Hatred? They don’t have to be shouting these emotions out at the top of their lungs—but the reader has to know how the character feels. Do they feel hungry? Tired? Mentally wiped out? Is the guy in the corner so angry he could punch the wall? Essential.
What do you think?