If you can create a character readers care about, you can attract hordes of raving fans and enjoy a lasting writing career.
That’s a bold statement, and one that I believe is unequivocably true.
What makes a bestseller character?
There are, of course, entire books written that attempt to answer that question.
This post is meant to be a quick action guide to get you started, a way of putting a frame around the task of developing characters, a final checklist to ensure that you didn’t leave anything out.
The Bestseller Character Checklist
✔️ Good Name
✔️ Unique (personality)
✔️ Unique physically
✔️ Unique dialogue
✔️ Externally Motivated
✔️ Internally Motivated
✔️ Connected to Theme
✔️ Connected to plot
✔️ Connected to conflict
✔️ Connected to setting
✔️ Reluctantly Involved
✔️ The best….
✔️ The most…
✔️ The last…
✔️ The only…
✔️ Troubled (lingering past hurt)
✔️ It Factor
✔️ Hiding secrets
✔️ Hits the Archetype Trigger
✔️ 3 Dimensional (job, family, hobby)
✔️ Tics, Mannerisms, nonverbal tells
✔️ Trophies – with emotional meaning
✔️ Change and growth
✔️ A reputation (that precedes them)
✔️ Victims are characters too
✔️ Profoundly affect the story
✔️ Drive-By Characters steal the show
✔️ The Police Sketch – age, race, height, hair and eye color
✔️ Play multiple roles
✔️ Die heroically
✔️ Lions, Tigers and Bears – oh my! (Pets)
✔️ Larger than life
✔️ Out of Character Moments
✔️ Sense of Destiny
✔️ Out of Story Moments (History)
✔️ Twist Cliches