A real character

How do you make a believable modern-day character? This is one thing that doesn’t come naturally to me for the most part. The main character (male or female) usually is the most true-to-life because I try to put myself in their place. For example, what would I do if the building I was standing in suddenly went up in flames? Would I race out of the door or use my super-human abilities to put out the fire? Well, unless I’m working on my super hero novel, my character is going to race out of the building, that is, unless there is a child or kitten that needs recusing first.

And that brings me to my second question: if you always make the main character do what you would do, then do all your characters start to be one-in-the same? How do you avoid such a thing? I know I’ve had people tell me that they get my characters mixed up and cannot remember which one is which. It is my goal to change that! But for now, I’m not sure how to go about that. I’m afraid that if I try too hard to make my character different, he won’t be a complete character.

I do know that one of my characters’ most fatal flaws is their uncertainty. Believe me; I do not make them wishy-washy on purpose. And even when I go back through and read my work, I don’t see them as being nervous or timid, but concerned and compassionate.

My goal is to make a character that is likable. I don’t want the reader to hate my character (unless it is a villain who is supposed to be despised) I just want my character to be down-to-earth and realistic. That means I need to include the following: backstory, looks, attitude/demeanor, and their thought process.

The trouble is, I think the same all the time, so how do I get my characters to be different?      


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