I’m not sure there is an equation to writing fiction. If there is it’s even harder to teach, because fiction is all about the imagination. Imagination is the DNA to your inner story existence and no two people have the exact same DNA.
So, how do you write a believable character without going overboard?
I think everyone is different but here are five steps that I take when writing.
- I take my time and give it lots of thought!
Before writing a story I might spend months thinking about my main characters and the characters that he/she might interact with. The more time I give them the more real they become and once a character has reached his/her birth then it is time to write.
- I create their story first!
Inside months of thinking, I run their story in my mind over and over again until it becomes realistic. I even consulted others about my characters stories. 75% of their story doesn’t make the book, leaving a lot for the readers to wonder about.
- I give them personality!
I ask myself, are they introverts or extroverts? Do they have low or high self-esteem? How are they with conflict? Are they shy in dating or would they rather make-out on the first date. There is so much I ask myself before writing BUT I am prepared for their demeanor to take a different route once the story begins.
- I love giving my characters a “wow” factor!
It’s writing and people want to be “Wowed” otherwise, it can get boring and that is the killer of all fiction books. I like to give 2-3 wow factors and release one early in the book and the other 1-2 later once the reader gets comfortable.
- I always add a little of me!
Making a character believable is not hard because he/she is being written by a real person. I can’t help, and I think this goes for many writers, giving my characters some of my traits, it doesn’t matter their gender. The author is the most mysterious person in the book.
Writing is rewarding, fun, and stretches your thoughts and creativity. By putting a little imaginational magic in your characters you can bring people to life, and build worlds that everyone can relate to.