Tag Archives: believable characters

Let the ‘Games’ Begin

I don’t do book reviews. I love to read, but it kind of spoils the fun if you have to do a report on it after. Reminds me too much of school homework, which I always detested. So, let’s just say this is not a book review. And really, it isn’t.

I put off reading The Hunger Games for a long time, mostly because it’s a dystopian YA novel and the whole premise didn’t appeal to me much. But I succumbed. And I absolutely loved the book. The whole series, in fact. Can’t wait for the movie to come out next week.

So why blog about it here?

Suzanne Collins impresses me. She brilliantly created a character in Katniss Everdeen that is totally believable and fully fleshed out. I feel like I actually know Kat personally. How weird is that?

There is a lot to learn from writers who can do this well.

Creating a believable 3-dimensional character is one of the biggest challenges a writer faces. Am I right? Look at the people around you. Study their habits, the way they talk, how they move and react. Transfer your observations to the characters you’re writing about. Get into their heads. Imagine they are right there in the room with you. Believe me, this exercise really helps you to get out of the blah character syndrome. And readers never respond well to blah.

And please, please work on dialogue! Nothing makes a character come alive more than good dialogue. I used to hate it – thought I couldn’t do it. But with the assistance and encouragement of a very astute writing instructor, dialogue proved to be one of my writing strengths. It’s easy now. One trick I use is to read what I’ve written out loud. Doing this catches stilted speech, unnatural-sounding sentences and whatnot.

See, this wasn’t a book report.

I’m not sure what it was.

Just be off with you now and write something fun.



Filed under Characters, Writing