Make sure you have created characters’ goals; if a profile doesn’t have a purpose, or, is not keen on doing something within a story, don’t form it. Bring your own goals into line with their motivations but have them have their unique resolutions as well. A believable silhouette must have flaws and abnormalities: Characters which are immune to all hazards and risks, or always say and do the imaginable things are usually uninteresting. Even the superheroes with beyond-belief powers come with their weaknesses. Character flaws are useful because: Flaws are relevant and applicable– most people can admit they have their own internal challenges. Imperfections create inner conflicts; these conflicts adds dramatic tension to your story intriguing the reader to stay hooked. Make your characters change their mind. They don’t have to be consistent with their beliefs, values or goals all the time. Make sure you show the underlying cause of your character’s sudden decisions or unexpected actions. The most widely criticised type of character in fiction is one which represents a stereotype of nationality, ethnicity or cultural identity. If you’re an American, your villain doesn’t have to be a Russian, or, avoid making your antagonist a Pakistani if your protagonist is a “Die hard Modi Fan.” To ensure that your characters don’t come across as stereotypes, run your draft past beta readers who are members of the culture or subculture you want to depict. The basis of writing credible characters is also mastering the character description. Use dialogue, physical description, and action all at the same time while writing a profile. A balanced description helps readers shape intense mental imagery. Give each character a distinct voice and personality: It is essential to give each character in your novel a distinct voice and personality. Components of a character’s voice include accent, diction and favourite sayings, tone and register, movement of the voice etc. In your effort to make each character’s voice unique, avoid being over the top. An unconventional character may throw idiosyncratic logic, and that is a huge no no if you are writing for a sensible reader! (there, I said it) Aim for some balance. Give that weird character their contrasting colleague. Contrasts between characters make them easier to believe. Besides a distinct voice, each character should have a personality. Giving each character distinguishing traits will help your characters ring true. Learn how to create believable characters from great authors. To learn how to create believable characters, start keeping a journal devoted to characterisation. Note how your favourite authors introduce characters and flesh them out. Also, jot down any significant ways character’s behaviour confounds expectations, What Does Your Character Do for a Living? How Does Your Character Deal with Conflict and Change?, Who Else Is in Your Character’s Life? We have already discussed this part in earlier posts!