Creating believable characters is obviously a major part of every decent fiction writers trade, so where do these characters come from?  Many writers freely admit that most of their characters are a composite of a number of different people they come into contact with in their da ily lives, this is obviously a fantastic place to start because surely nothing will be more believable than a real person/people.  For new writers this does however often backfire, a tendency to focus on one aspect of someones personality or to combine only negative or positive characteristics results in flat characters who are either too perfect, or too repugnant for the reader to engage with them in any way.

The classic one for this would be the arch-nemesis, regularly guilty of having absolutely no redeeming features and of commiting evil acts for no other reason than because the author has decided the character is evil without thinking about their motivations.  The worst and most evil of people in mankinds history did what they did for what they believed to be perfectly rational reasons, not because they decided one day to be ‘bad people’.  Authors who can embrace this concept tend to create far more believeable villains.

The trick is in finding the right composite of characteristics to end up with a real living and breathing whole, something which I’ve been working on of late, having now got some idea of a plot line for my first real attempt at a novel I now need to populate my new world with some interesting people and this is proving to be a fun activity.  I’ve spent more time people watching in the last two weeks than I have in a while and its all proved very interesting and informative.  Hopefully the results will be worthwhile!

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