10 Ways to Ruin Your Characters

10 Ways to Ruin Your Characters

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Writers often struggle with creating characters who feel real on the page. But there are a few fundamental missteps that doom your characters—avoiding these mistakes won’t guarantee a bestseller, but will guarantee you’ll have interesting, well-developed characters: 1. The Cog: Treating them like parts of a plot machine; 2. The Explainer: Making their inner monologue an expo dump; 3. The Bolt-On: Mentioning details like checking off a list; 4. The Borg: Giving them all the same Voice; 5. The Forgotten: Failing to give them a purpose; 6. The Cheerful Idiot: Making them overconfident/impervious to setbacks; 7. The Juggernaut: The Single Personality Trait; 8. The Blob: Several characters doing the work of what should be one; 9. The Crazy Ivan: Forcing a sudden personality/loyalty shift/heel turn just for shock and drama; 10. The Non-Cheerful Idiot: Forcing your character to ignore what the reader sees as obvious.

With Jeff Somers