Story characters

It’s sometimes tempting, or easy, to make a character in a story almost perfect. It makes the story move along smoothly and doesn’t require a complex plot to keep the character plodding along nicely. However, characters in stories should reflect real people, with a few flaws in looks and temperament.

A few years ago I wrote a short story called the Wizard of Mars that became part of anthology called Christmas Collectibles. In my story I had two main characters. Ryan was tall, smart and handsome. Good qualities for a guy, but he was also a nerd and shy with women. Ellie is the party girl. Good looking but irresponsible. When she runs out money, she turns to her parents for help. Unfortunately for her, it was the last straw. They would help her, providing she agrees to do something she never had to do before, make a work commitment. Ellie has to sign a contract with a firm doing work on Mars, and off she goes to the fourth planet. When she meets Ryan, she’s attracted to him, but she’s also attracted to a lot of men. She goes out with Ryan, teasing him and is only after having a good time. Unfortunately he’s smitten by her, although he knows his love isn’t returned.

So we have two flawed characters. They meet and the fun begins. Well, more fun for her than him.

When I write, it’s those character flaws that help drive the story forward. It’s one thing to establish the settings, whether it be a spaceship or a farm, but how the characters react is what makes the story interesting.

I hope you don’t think too badly of Ellie, she does start to understand that there are consequences to behaviour.

By the way, in Christmas Collectables, there are several other great stories written by other authors. I’ve attached a link to the book.

Christmas Collectables  For a review of the book  by You Gotta Read

 

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