Daily Writing Tip 61 of 100, Final Words On Creating Realistic Characters

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Final Words On Creating Realistic Characters

Source – Mastering Point of View by Sherry Szeman

Liking your characters, allowing them to live their own lives, endowing them with good and bad characteristics, the skillful use of unreliable narrators – these are all valuable tools for creating realistic characters in any point of view. Observing human nature and becoming conscious of the techniques other skillful writers use will also help you develop your own characters, especially if you become aware of the techniques authors use in different points of view.


If your readers talk about your characters as if they were real people, e.g., Asking things like, why on earth that doesn’t Bill leave Marion? Then that’s an indication that you’ve created realistic, round characters who have psychological depth and complexity.

Yes… I think it’s very important that you like your characters. If you don’t like them it’s very hard to make them round, full, and complete.

But just because you like your characters… especially because you like them – it doesn’t mean you should be afraid to kill them. Go ahead, kill the hell out of them… kill them in some particularly horrific way.

Have some fun.