advice, author, behavior, characters, how to, how to write, point of view, pov, realistic characters, writing
Last WW: Feel Free to Be Free
There are a lot of different point of views that one can take when writing a story. First Person, the less popular Second Person, and all the types of Third Person: Omniscient, Limited, and Multiple.
Different POVs are applicable and best for different situations. But, as limited as you may want to make the point of view in your story, you still have to explain a characters actions, of people will be confused. The last thing that you want is for the reader to be sitting around thinking:
Huh? That seems odd and unnatural. I can’t figure this character out at all. Now I’m frustrated and done reading.
Recently, I’ve read a few first drafts for a few people. The problem I’ve been seeing most is character’s motivation. They have behaviors and actions that seemingly come out of nowhere. Things that don’t make any sort of rational sense, or give you the impression that they must be just terrible people, even if they’re meant to be the hero.
If you don’t want to write in first person, that’s cool. If you don’t want to say what you’re character is thinking, that can be your style.
But you have to get into the character’s head at least a little. This doesn’t literally mean you have to say what they’re thinking.
You have to dig deep into your characters. They can’t be surface level, 1 or 2 dimensional creatures. You need to know your characters, what they would do in any theoretical situation and why, as if you shared a brain with them, because, well, you do.
Once that’s done, once you really know the fictional person that you’re writing about, you have to translate that to the reader. You might know that your character was abused by their mother and that’s why they have a detest of cigarettes, but that might not make it into the story because it’s irrelevant to what you’re telling. But you could tell the motivation, the rational behind the behavior by establishing a pattern of behavior that is realistic and consistent. You could also provide back story, something that would lead the reader to think of the same behavior that the character is exhibiting. And of course, you can just tell people what the character is thinking, feeling…
Keep your characters real. Best way, know why their doing things, and let the readers know, too.