There are three main elements associated with writing a novel: characters, plot, and setting. Fundamentally all ideas for writing a book can be worked back to these three main ingredients. As we all know, every good plot must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Nonetheless it is impossible to have any one of these elements without initially having characters, although not just any characters. In order for your novel to be engaging, the characters must be well thought-out and practical, and they must also have something else: they have to be fascinating.
One of the keys to writing believable and interesting characters can be found in the real world. The closer your characters are to people you have met and interacted with in everyday circumstances, the bigger chance these make believe characters will have of being believable. But making your characters plausible doesn’t ensure that they will be interesting. For that you need a further element.
You need to know what your characters want.
Every character in your story wants something unique , and discovering precisely what that is for each character will help you to determine who they are and how they will act in a specific set of circumstances. The key to making interesting characters is understanding what drives them. If you understand that you will not only be led through the development of of interesting and plausible characters, but this understanding will help you with the other facets of your story as well—such as plot and setting.
If you happen to have a firm grasp on who your characters are, they will not only tell you where they live, but they will give you hints on how they live; and, once they begin interacting with other characters in your story, will add incredible insight into your plot and help you in the work of crafting that as well.
Michael Snow is the author of ZION’S WEB, the first novel in the Zachariah Burton detective series. As well as writing novels, Michael maintains a blog site which features some engaging and useful blogs, including tips on writing a book..