How-to Tuesday

How to Bring Your Characters to Life: Part 10 – Tying it All Together

Every week, we update our current how-to series about creating realistic characters, entitled “How to Bring Your Characters to Life,” providing a handy activity to help you turn your characters into realistic “people.” Last week’s post focused on intensifying your character’s internal and external conflict. This week, we will work on tying everything together.

Tying it All Together

Congratulations! You have made it to the final installment of our ten-week series about creating realistic characters. Over the past nine weeks, you have built a realistic main character for your story by giving him or her a unique personality, unusual quirks, a detailed physical appearance, a unique voice, and a healthy dose of internal and external struggles to overcome. You should now have pages of detailed notes, many freewrites, and a well-thought-out outline to guide you through your plot.

The next step is for you to begin fleshing out your story. But first, you should do a final review of your outline to make sure that everything is good to go. The following activities will walk you through this process.

Activity #1

Peer Review: Take your finished outline to someone whose opinion you respect, such as a friend, a family member, a tutor, etc. Share your outline with that person and ask them to give you a detailed and honest opinion on the following questions:

  1. Does the arc of your plot make sense? Why or why not?
  2. Is your character likeable? Why or why not?
  3. What do they find most interesting about your story? Why?
  4. What areas do they think you can improve upon? Why and how?
  5. Were they satisfied or dissatisfied with the way your story ends in the outline? Why?

Repeat this peer review process as many times as you would like, using different people. The more the better, but we suggest showing your outline to at least 2-3 people, since that way you can see if there are any common patterns that emerge in their responses.

Activity #2

Review the responses from your peer reviews and decide what you would like to adjust in your outline. Carefully update your outline based on the feedback you have received.

Activity #3

Once you have finished making any changes to your outline, return to the same peer reviewers and ask them to read your outline again. Ask them if their concerns and feedback have been properly addressed by your changes. If not, find out why and repeat Activity #2. If your reviewers are satisfied by your changes, then go ahead and start writing your story! Enjoy!

Happy Writing!

This post concludes our ten-week series, “How to Bring Your Characters to Life.” We hope you found it helpful to your writing. Let us know how it’s going in the comments below

Our Next Series

Stay tuned for our next ten-week series, beginning on July 29nd.

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