how to write relatable characters

Writing Relatable Characters: Tips to Make Your Readers Care

When I was younger, I used to love reading books about characters that felt like they could be my friends. I wanted to feel like I was a part of the story and relate to the characters personally.

As an adult, I still love reading books with relatable characters, but now I want to write fantastic book characters too!

We all want to write interesting story characters, whether we are writing a novel, short story, or screenplay. In this post, we will discuss tips on how to make your readers care about your characters!

Why are people likable?

People are often drawn to others with pleasant personality traits. Possessing a sunny disposition, for example, tends to make people likable.

People also tend to be attracted to those who are confident and self-assured.

Those who can project an aura of calm and tranquility are also generally considered more likable than those who appear anxious or stressed.

Furthermore, friendly and approachable people are typically likable than those who seem aloof or uninterested.

Ultimately, people are likable when they possess qualities that make them pleasant and enjoyable to be around. Let’s use this knowledge to help build the main characters of our own stories!

How to write relatable characters

Humanize your characters

All iconic and memorable story characters feel human and relatable.

By making your story characters relatable and three-dimensional, you give readers a character they can invest in and root for. Humanized characters add depth and richness to your story, helping to create a more complex and compelling narrative.

Finally, grounding your characters in reality makes it easier for readers to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in your story world.

In short, humanizing your characters is essential for writing a successful and engaging story.

Let your character have agency early on in the plot

Every story needs a strong character at its center. Without a character readers can invest in, the story will quickly fall flat.

One of the best ways to ensure that your character is successful is to let them take action early on in the plot, such as in your story introduction or in the rising action part of your story. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to save the day or defeat the villain; it can be something as simple as standing up for themselves or taking a stand against injustice.

Whatever the case, giving your character agency from the very beginning will help ensure their success throughout the rest of the story.

Show the character’s passions in life

Every story needs characters that the audience can relate to and connect with on some level.

One way to ensure that your story characters are relatable is to show their passions in life. What are the things that get them excited and make them feel alive? This can be anything from their hobbies and interests to their profession or job.

By showing your story characters’ passions, you humanize them and make them more relatable to your audience.

Additionally, readers will be more engaged with the story if they can see what drives the characters and see them striving for something they’re passionate about. This ties in nicely with the theme you’ve chosen for your story – sometimes, it works well to connect your character’s passions and personality to the story’s theme (such as family, identity, or even revenge!)

Ultimately, showing your story characters’ passions is essential in crafting an engaging and compelling story.

write characters with passions

Give your character a backstory

In literature, a story character is usually more than just a name and a physical description. A well-developed, believable character also has a history and personality that readers can learn about as the story unfolds.

This process of revealing a character’s backstory is often essential to engage readers and make them care about what happens to the character throughout the story. You’ll want to consider this as you build the world of your fictional story.

One reason why it is important to give story characters a backstory is that it helps to make them feel like real people. Readers are more likely to empathize with characters who have relatable experiences and motivations.

In addition, understanding a character’s backstory can help to explain their behavior within the story. For example, if a character is struggling with addiction, their backstory may include events that led up to their addiction, such as trauma or peer pressure.

Giving story characters a rich history allows writers to create complex plot lines. By introducing characters with different backstories, writers can add layers of conflict and tension to the narrative. For instance, two characters may have opposite views on a controversial issue because of their different upbringings.

Providing story characters with backstories can make them more dynamic and enjoyable for readers.

Give your protagonist and supporting characters unique personality traits

In any work of fiction, the protagonist is the central figure around which the story revolves. As such, the protagonist must be a fully developed character with unique personality traits. Readers need to be able to empathize with the protagonist to become fully invested in the story.

Readers will likely lose interest if the protagonist is one-dimensional or lacks personality. Furthermore, a well-developed protagonist helps to create a richer and more believable story world. By giving your protagonist unique personality traits, you are ultimately giving your story more depth and dimension.

Everyone has a unique personality that is made up of character traits, values, and beliefs. While some of these traits are innate, others are shaped by life experiences.

Ideally, you will give both your protagonist and your antagonist (the character who opposes your protagonist or main character!) unique and realistic personalities.

Personality traits can be positive and negative, but they all contribute to making each person distinctive.

Some common character traits include honesty, loyalty, courage, and compassion.

Values are principles that guide our choices and actions. They help us to determine what is important to us and what we believe in.

Beliefs are convictions that we hold about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Together, these different aspects of our personality make up who we are as individuals.

If you need assistance writing unique story characters, one new method is to use an AI story generator to help! These artificial intelligence writing programs can help you develop characteristics, backstories, and personalities for your story characters!

Create flawed characters

Flawed characters are important in fiction because they make the character relatable. No one is perfect, and readers can connect with a character who has faults and makes mistakes. A character who is too perfect can be unrelatable and uninteresting. In addition, flawed characters make for more intriguing stories.

A story about a character who always does everything right is not as exciting as a story about a character struggling to overcome his or her flaws.

Some common character flaws include being manipulative, overconfident, impatient, and unreasonable.

Manipulative people may take advantage of others or twist their words to get what they want. Overconfidence can lead someone to underestimate their opponents or take unnecessary risks. Impatience can cause someone to act rashly or make decisions without thinking them through. And being unreasonable can prevent someone from seeing both sides of an issue or compromise.

While these flaws can have negative consequences, they often make for interesting and complex characters. After all, few people are perfect, and these flaws help us relate to and connect with fictional characters.

flawed characters

Show your character struggling in some way

Many readers can relate to characters who are struggling in some way.

Perhaps the character struggles with personal demons, such as depression or addiction. The character may face external conflicts, such as a demanding boss or a challenging situation.

Whatever the case, readers can connect with characters who struggle. You humanize and make your characters more relatable by showing them struggling. As a result, readers will be more invested in your story and more likely to empathize with your character.

In addition, a character’s struggles can help drive the plot forward and create suspense and tension until the resolution of your narrative. It is important to show your story character struggling in some way to create a more engaging and compelling story.

Cause your character to take action on a problem

In any story, the characters must face some sort of problem or conflict. Without this, there is no story.

Readers love to see the characters taking action to solve a significant problem – this makes a story exciting and engaging!

It is also essential to cause the characters to take action because it allows the reader to identify with them. We all have problems in our lives that we must face and overcome. Seeing characters taking action on their problems can help us feel empowered to do the same in our lives.

In short, causing characters to take action on a problem is essential for creating an interesting and relatable story.

Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Relatable Characters

relatable character

What does relatable character mean?

When we read a book, watch a movie, or play a video game, we want to be able to see ourselves in the characters. That’s why relatable characters are so important. We want to identify with them and feel like they understand us. When we see ourselves in the characters, it helps us to understand the story on a deeper level. It also makes us feel more connected to the characters and invested in their story.

What type of character is relatable?

Many readers can relate to protagonists who are experiencing some sort of conflict or challenge in their lives. This could be an internal conflict, such as struggling with a personal decision, or an external conflict, such as dealing with a difficult situation at work. In either case, readers can empathize with the character’s plight and feel invested in their journey.

Readers may also relate to characters who share similar background experiences or have relatable personality traits. For example, an introverted reader might be drawn to a character who is also introverted, or a reader who comes from a small town might identify with a character struggling to adjust to life in the city. Ultimately, there is no one type of relatable character, but rather any character that readers can connect with on a personal level.

Why are relatable characters important?

In any story, the characters are the heart of the tale. They are the ones who drive the plot forward and who the audience will ultimately connect with. This is why characters need to be relatable. When a character is relatable, the audience can see themselves in them, and they are more likely to invest in their story. Relatable characters also help to create a connection between the audience and the story itself. This connection can be vital in making a story memorable and impactful. In the end, relatable characters are important because they are what make a story come to life. Without them, stories would be little more than empty shells.

Is relatable a character trait?

Relatability is the ability to see oneself in another person. We all have a need to feel understood and to feel as though our experiences are valuable. When we find someone to who we can relate, we feel a deep connection with them. This is why relatability is such an important character trait.

How to write relatable charcters

Conclusion: Writing Relatable Story Characters

Characters are what make a story relatable and interesting.

In order to write relatable characters, you need to humanize them in order to let the reader see themselves in the story. But, don’t humanize them so much that they start to become like an annoying acquaintance!

Giving your characters quick actions allows readers to follow along with the plot without getting bored. Showing their personality and passions in life can also help keep readers interested. Finally, by giving your character a backstory, you show how they became who they are today.

This makes them more three-dimensional and easier for readers to connect with. Letting your character struggle and then overcome those struggles makes them even more likable.

Love learning more about great storytelling? Check out these other articles:

What is Falling Action in a Story? [Definition and Examples]

What is Pacing in a Story? Tips for Story Pacing for Writers

75+ Free Character Ideas to Inspire Fiction Writers

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