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Monday, September 16, 2013

Who Am I? -Writing from a Character's Point of View-

Picture Credit: http://actortips.com
Writing is about creating characters who almost breathe. To get characters of this depth, you will want to make sure they are driven to do the things they do in the story.

Take a good look at your main character and her background. Put yourself in her place with her beliefs and passions.

  • How does she think and feel different than you do? 
  • What does she think about when she is alone? 
  • Who is she when she's around other people? 
  • Whose opinion matters the most to her? 
  • How does she feel about the way others see her? 
  • What does she think about her body?

Now move on to your first secondary character and put yourself in his place. Ask yourself the same questions about him. You should go through this process with each of your characters in turn.

Are there any times in your story that any single character is acting a certain way strictly because it is required to advance the plot? If so, re-think the plot or change the character (or possibly both). Think of it as casting, but you don't want your characters acting. You want to pick the "people" who are going to fulfill the parts you need them to fulfill. If you do not feel that any logical reason exists for a character (even after changing who the character is) to do the things that he or she does, then you must change the plot because readers will resent unrealistic character motives.

This is reminiscent of my posting about villains. Only in slapstick comedy is it acceptable for an antagonist (bad guy) to do evil deeds just because he or she needs to fulfill the assigned role. The same is true for the protagonist (good guy). All of your characters should have realistic feelings and goals that propel them into the conflict of your plot.

When you are writing, just take a minute to look at the scene from each character's point of view. Even though you will only use one point of view at a time, your scenes and your characters will come alive when clear motives exist for everything that happens. The conflict and plot should feel inevitable after you throw your group of characters into the mixing bowl of setting.


  1. Yep, I'm guilty of trying to force my characters to do things. It comes so much easier and reads so much more naturally if you let them be themselves.
    And yes the looking through multiple POVs helps. You start to appreciate your characters for the unique people they are.

    1. It makes such a difference if you will look at your characters as real people, each with their own agendas. This is one that took me time to learn when I first started writing. But it is amazing all the little ways that they turn from props into intriguing characters when you learn to do this!

  2. I love your blog! So much information to draw from. LUW was a great conference. I'm glad we met:)

    1. Me too. Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm glad we can continue our friendship this way.