Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Re: Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Postby Crono91 » Tue May 22, 2012 2:07 pm

Most of the time--that I have noticed--the main characters comes with a various amount of personality traits, allowing him/her to be unique. However, secondary characters usually have one strong personality trait that certain people can relate to, which is why most peoples' favorite characters are one of the secondary characters.
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Re: Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Postby Deb E » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:37 pm

I never used to write relate-able characters. I wanted my characters to be mysterious, or to have secret motivations, so I never revealed enough of their backgrounds and thought processes for readers to relate to them. I took me quite a bit of writing and rewriting to get the characters to that middle ground, allowing just enough info to flow to hook the readers, but not enough to give their secrets away.

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Re: Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Postby UnicornBaby » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:40 pm

Well, I am currently writing a fantasy novel, Key to the Secret Dreamers, where some of my characters come from a magical world called Malbenocia. It's the realm of dreams. And yes, I would say that I do make my characters easy to relate to, except for maybe the Sandman. He's a little out there. But Aquirra, the main character, with her thirst for a mother's love and anger towards the universe for taking it away is very relatable for anyone who has ever lost somebody. There are many aspects of Aquirra that are so human, but I guess that it is not the best example because she is human. Let's see, well, there is Edelio, the love interest, but spoiler alert, he is an immortal warrior, who has been drowning in the dark waters of depression for hundreds of years out of lonliness. Dashelle is a nymph, but her greatest desire is to have a child of her own but that ability was taken away from her when she married the Sandman. Oh, and Razzle Pie, a unicorn and Aquirra's soul guardian, is actually described in my book as having inner humanity... Hmm.. I think that I just naturally make my characters relatable to, I guess, my future readers. Because it is when a reader can see themselves within a character that the world that the writer has created truly becomes real to them. For goodness sakes, practically all my characters have a mood disorder with a single dominant emotion because that is one of the ways that I display myself into my own book. Emotions control my life and so they control my character's life. It wasn't on purpose, it was by complete accident. I just thought about my characters one day and I was like, hey, they have very strong feelings. I couldn't help it. I am simply human and that is the way my characters wil become even though some of them may not be.

We can take a tip from Disney. Every single one of his characters, the princesses, the talking animals, even Hercules, all have one common characteristics. The audience can relate to them. And that is the key to a successful creation, in my opinion. The characters must be a mirror to humanity, but still hold their own unique individuality. :).
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Re: Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Postby WeAreOnTheLoose » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:01 am

I try, i really do try.
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Re: Do You Make Your Characters Easy To Relate To?

Postby Anya Kylash » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:50 pm

I do have people with supernatural powers in medieval type fantasy style. ((Paolini meets Brandon Mull)) It's a little hard at first to make sure that the people that are so different from everyone else are, in fact, exactly like everyone else. It helps to give the most powerful people weaknesses. Not like an Achilles heel, but emotional weaknesses, like people they have close to them who are under risk. Terrible pasts, tortured minds... Okay, I admit, I'm mean to my characters. Who isn't? But it is really difficult to portray the humanism without making a powerful person look like a ninny by crying in a really (and I mean REALLY) bad situation. Because there are so many in my book, the MC ends up crying a lot, although every other time she tries to act strong.

So if anyone has a solution to something like that, feel free to share.
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