WRITING A GOOD NOVEL - How to Create Characters !

Posted on at



Characters need to be believable and Interesting, you should figure out your characters characteristics : what do they do, what is about them, that makes the reader want to follow them to the end of the novel ?

Two types of characters are 

Protagonist: Is a person who the story is about, Hero of the Novel 

Antagonist: Is a main obstacle to the protagonist’s aims and desires

How to build characters ?

- If you don’t have a better idea start out a version of yourself for the protagonist, using yourself means you have good degree of insight into your novel’s protagonist and make antagonist who is opposite to the protagonist in some important respects.

- One of the easiest way to create interesting characters is to mix up the abilities and personalities of people you know and splice them together. 

- Other method is to keep notebooks full of information about characters which doesn’t make it directly onto the page. You need to know as much as possible about the character before portray them. 

Basic questions you need to include your character are : 




What they are good and bad at, 

Who / what they hate, 

Who / what they would die for 

  1. You need a good name and a name that fits your character, name should reinforces the character, to be neutral and contradicts the character. 
  2. Names should be apart, avoid calling them with similar names like Jane, June who live in Johnstown, It means names should be clearly differentiated unless you have a good reason for similarities. 
  3. Names should carry of form of meaning, physical attractiveness, intelligence, social skills or etc. 
  4. Place names in time in a time that your story belongs too, and name only when you need to, you are not have to name waitress or policewomen if the reader is not going to see them again and doesn’t need to remember. 

Create Back-Story : Information that readers need to make a sense of a character’s actions, it can be character’s history - often told to someone . More general information that you need to make a sense of the character, amount of back story you need to put in the novel should be need-to-know basis. try to show the reader something about character, than telling them about it. 

Motivate your Character : Work out on a character’s motivation, it is a part of the point of the story. In each story everything happens for a reason, for example most of the people couldn’t kill someone, but if they saw a person they loved being threatened, maybe they change. also characters shouldn’t act out of character, if they are gentle all the time and then explode into violence, there should be a reason for.

Write a characters make reader laugh when characters laughed, cried when they cried and cheered when they won through.

  • Make sure that whatever happens at the end, up to that point it’s a fair fight.
  • Antagonist must have chance. The best stories go further than that and make antagonist far stronger, better prepared, better armed and as smart as the hero.
  • Don’t make your Antagonist too strong, and give him a flaw
  • Protagonist should be clever and have talents, but maybe it shouldn’t be immediately obvious how his skills are going to help in every situation. 
  • Readers need to care about your protagonist’s problem.
  • Put your character in a Peril, and let the situation seem hopeless for a bit before she escapes.
  • Write for big and small characters, ordinary people can make a good subjects for stories, especially if extraordinary thing happen to them and they’re forced to act in extraordinary ways. 
  • Every character in the story should have defining characteristic.They can have other characteristics as well
Want to read more ?
Go to 8th Step in Writing a Good Novel - 
For more topics you can visit my web page Esmail Mahboob







About the author