How To Create Characters For Your Stories

One of the biggest challenges when writing fiction is coming up with compelling characters. You can have the most intriguing plot in the world, but without interesting characters playing them out, you’ll have a hard time making the reader care.

General Guidelines

Two things are of paramount importance when creating characters: (1) they need to be interesting and they need to fit within the framework of the story. The first is important to get your readers to care; the second, because the kind of people your characters are need to make sense within the plot.

Starting Point

Sometimes, a character will appear to you fully-formed. Most of the time, you’ll have to create it from scratch. To jumpstart your creation, it helps to identify a memorable characteristic you want them to have, such as an identifiable accent, problems with authority or a stylish way of dressing. Explore your character from that starting point, filling in the blanks with other characteristics that make sense.


Once you’ve identified who your character is now, establish his or her background. Where did this person grow up? Did he come up hard or did he live a charmed life? Giving your character a life lets you present her as a fuller, more complete person.

Flesh It Out

Flesh out the character as much as you can. Create a mental picture and put her in a world in your head, observing how she interacts with the world around her. You can even pretend to interview her to learn more. Do it until you’re sufficiently satisfied that you’ve created a living, breather individual that can come alive on paper.

Business Writing Opportunities

You don’t have to work in a cubicle to perform business writing duties. Freelancers engage in commissioned business writing all the time. In fact, the more business-oriented the writing job, the bigger the money you can usually make.

What kinds of business writing opportunities can a freelancer expect?

Company web sites. Those web sites need content and they usually look to outside help for that. If you can supplement your writing with basic web skills (e.g. using WordPress or Joomla, some PHP), you might find even more opportunities.

How To Create Characters For Your Stories

Newsletters. Almost every business of a moderate size will have an internal newsletter. Those who deal directly with end-consumers might even have subscription newsletters for their customers. While some companies will employ a full-time writer for that, many do rely on freelancers for the job.

Marketing materials. Brochures, flyers and other marketing materials need to be written by someone. Oftentimes, it’s done by someone outside the organization, unless the business revolves around writing those marketing materials themselves.

Internal documents. Many companies are in need of people who can sort out, update and otherwise improve their internal documents, such as employee manuals and training guides. Whenever you meet with any business for potential opportunities, always bring this up — these documents often get put in the backburner until somebody reminds them.