Marcy Kennedy & Lisa Hall-Wilson

The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible – Mark Twain.

If your readers find your characters boring, flat, or stereotypical, a great plot won’t save you. Even plot-driven novels need three-dimensional characters.

Creating three-dimensional characters means making your characters as complex and unique as a real person. And to do that, you need to know them as well as you know yourself (maybe better).

Because I’m a planner, I use a character worksheet for at least my main character, love interest, and villain. If you’re a pantser and learn about your characters as you write, keep these points in mind and jot them down someplace as you go. Then if you finish your…

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