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Creative Writing Tips and Techniques For Creating Characters

by | Dec 1, 2014 | Writing Tips

creative writing tips and techniques

Writing a story that’s interesting and draws the reader in is hard work. There are five main elements to creating a well-written story: setting, plot, characters, conflict and theme. It’s always good to brush up on your creative writing tips and techniques in order to sharpen your ability to make all five elements come alive. In this article, we will focus on one of the most important elements – creating characters. Understanding how to create characters will be one of the main drivers to your book becoming a success. This post will provide creative writing tips and techniques to help you create characters that are believable and endearing to the reader.

Creative Writing Tips and Techniques – How To Craft Life-Like Characters


A very important element to a story is the characters. Characters carry the story and are in fact what the story is based upon.

Character questionnaires are great for discovering who your character is. Are they male or female? What do they look like? How old are they? Do your characters have a limp? A lisp? Or some kind of distinguishing trait or characteristic? What kind of job do they have? What city do they live in? What does their neighborhood look like? Who are their friends? What are their hobbies?

Read: Character Questionnaires

Once you know your character, it is then and only then that you can determine how he/she would react in certain situations.

If your character has a temper and he is in a situation that would cause him to become upset, is it logical to have him brush off the situation? Or would it make more sense to have him throw things, scream, yell and rant.

If your characters don’t react in line with their personality, your readers will become disconnected from the story and lose interest very quickly.

The best starting point for any character is looking at real people and all the different quirks they have. If you were to decipher one person you know in real life and fill out a character questionnaire on them, you would discover that people are complex and layered. Make sure your characters come across in the same way. Make them human (unless of course they aren’t).

Remembering these creative writing tips and techniques will help you build the characters that are forming in your head.

A Few More Creative Writing Tips and Techniques


Be mindful not to create one-dimensional characters that don’t have depth, are too perfect, or characters that are merely thrown in for sport. Instead create complexity and challenge yourself as a writer to expose their flaws, shortcomings and imperfections. Only write characters into your story that truly have a purpose and take care in crafting each character to have a distinct personality that is consistent throughout the book.

Most importantly, you want your readers to grow relationships with your characters. The impact a character can make on a story can really brighten your story and have your reader feeling as though they know them in real life and can relate to their struggles or triumphs.

While making sure to understand these important creative writing tips and techniques, be sure to give equal weighting to character dialogue. Your characters are extremely important, but what they are saying is even more important. Your dialogue needs to be intriguing! It needs to be very much like real conversation and only be used if it advances the story. If you choose solid characters, your dialogue should write itself.

Once you get the hang of developing your characters by using the above creative writing tips and techniques, you’ll be able to create a story quicker than you could ever imagine. It’s important to learn everything you can about creating solid characters. Your readers will appreciate it, and your career as a writer will too. Do you have any additional questions on how to create characters? Please share in the comment section below.

NEXT: 4 Tips For Naming Characters For A Novel

creative writing tips and techniques