Advice for Creating a Character!

Creating a character that is believable and lifelike may be one of the hardest things to do! They may be lifelike in your mind, but creating that on the page is not as easy! Here are some tips to help with that! Feel free to leave some feedback!

  • Write the character twice, once to fall in love and again to be disgusted! This will allow you to pick apart their best and worst qualities!
  • Give them an obsession and/or a quirk! I dont know about you, but I don’t know anyone who isn’t obsessed with at least one thing!
  • Give your character some flaws! I know you love your characters, but really, they are not saints. If you want them to be believed, they need to be relatable. That means flaws and weaknesses!
  • Give them some distinguishing markers! A scar, hair color, eye color, etc. Something to make them stand out a little bit, whether good or bad!
  • Allow your good characters to do bad things and bad characters to do good things! This makes your characters more dynamic and complex.
  • They could probably use a psychic wound! The past haunts, traumatizes, and affects all of us. This is where a backstory can help out!
  • Allow room for blind spots! Blind spots are the things about ourselves that others see, but we do not. These are usually compulsive actions, but be creative!
  • Take a personality test for them! This allows you to ensure your characters are not you! It will also allow you to think if how they will respond to the situations you put them in.
  • Personal Contradictions! We all contradict ourselves, let your characters do that too!
  • Act it out! This is especially great for creating dialogue! If it feels unnatural, guess what, it probably is…
  • Allow your characters to wander from the path! Life never goes in a straight line, and people don’t walk a straight path. Allow your characters to take detours, to stray a little bit, to even make a u-turn, or even let them go the wrong way for a bit of time.

Published by


The literary journal of the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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