How To Make Your Characters Relatable

By on May 2, 2019
How To Make Your Characters Relatable - Writer's Life.org

Every good writer knows that their characters are the glue that will hold their book together. Without extraordinary, relatable characters, that your readers can connect with and that sparks an emotional reaction, your story will fail.

So how do you do this? Let’s take a look…

Make them vulnerable

A hero who is too flawless is going to be challenging to relate to. All humans have their flaws, their secrets, their insecurities, their weaknesses and so on. Make sure that you aren’t so intent on making your character likable that you forget to make them human!

Include the minutia

It doesn’t matter how powerful and talented and magical your protagonist is, and it doesn’t matter if they have extraordinary superpowers or do something so unimaginably heroic to save humanity or whatever - you still need to make them live in the real world, to get dressed, to eat breakfast and so on. Don’t be afraid to let your character exist as a real person. If everything they say and do is larger than life and over the top and extreme it will be hard for readers to connect with them at all.

Give them morals and values and beliefs

Everyone has different ways of conducting themselves in the world and while most of us know the basic difference between right and wrong we all view the world from a slightly different perspective and your characters should too. Let the reader understand what is important to them, what their belief system is, what morals they uphold and so on. This will help your reader get to know them better and if they act on the basis of their values and morals, the reader (even if they don’t share the same ones), will still be able to relate to their motivation for doing so.

Don’t be afraid to let them fail

As well as having a vulnerability, it is vital for things to go wrong for your characters from time to time. If they never fail, they will never learn. No one’s life is perfect; we all have challenges to face, obstacles to get over, and sadnesses or difficulties in our lives. Your characters should experience defeat, but also pick themselves back up after the loss and try to move on - that’s what makes them heroic but also encourages your reader to root for them even more.

Give them personality

Everyone is different and has their little quirks and idiosyncrasies that make them uniquely who they are. Make sure that you give your characters the same. Build up their personalities so they become these 3D, exciting, layered people who your readers can’t help but engage with. If you can, try to use wit and humor, but don’t overdo it. Allow them to be self-deprecating and make sure they are self-aware, acknowledge their flaws and work hard to become better people.

So there you have it. Hopefully, this list will help you to create more likable, relatable characters. Is there anything you would add? Share with us here!

bethany cadman

Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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