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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

}Wistful Wednesday{
Making Mayhem with Melissa Burmester

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When Writing Fiction: How do you make your characters believable?

When writing a fiction short story or a bestselling novel the plot is important, but the characters in the story have to appear real and believable. The reader will lose interest if the character is perfect in every way. I have used these tips when I wrote my book Ginger High.

As you begin to expand your characters it is very important to:

  1. Create flaws for each character-

    - If the character is perfect no one will care if he succeeds or not.

    - The flaws may help to strengthen the plot and help to move it along. This will keep the reader interested and they will finish the book.

    • The reader may relate to the character because they may have the same flaws that the character may have. They will continue to read on to see if the character is able to overcome their problems.
    • The main character Daisy is very headstrong. She constantly has confrontations with some of the other characters. Taeru is a womanizer and is always getting in trouble with his older brother Amanta.

  1. What are the Characters likes and dislikes-
    • It is important to include what makes the character happy, sad or embarrassed. This will show how the character will react to the situations that may occur in the books plot.
    • Also include any chronic conditions that the character may have such as allergies or disorders. The reader may relate to those conditions and be drawn closer to the character.

  1. What are the characters physical description-
    • It is important to see your character in vivid detail. Sometimes you can leave out some of the description and allow the reader to use their imagination.
    • The character may always wear a piece of jewelry, or wear a certain hat. This adds to their personality and helps to keep the character real. One of the main characters Siege wears wooden bracelets. These bracelets become an important part of the story.
    • Always include some quirks. When a character gets nervous he may begin to sing. This makes the character more true to life, and the reader may relate to this.
  1. Write a Journal-
    • Before I started Ginger High, I jotted all my ideas in a journal. This was where I was able to keep all my ideas in one place.
    • As I wrote I added to the information that I had in my journal. Sometimes a new quirk or flaw would pop into my head and I was able to use that.

Basic planning is essential to continue the plot to the end and helps the writer to create characters that are real and believable. This is one of the most important parts of writing fiction. If you put all these characteristics together you may have a bestseller.

Melissa Burmester is presently living in East Moriches, NY with her twin brother George, her parents and their cat Cosmo. Melissa has been writing about vampires and the supernatural since the age of twelve. She has written a few short stories, but “Ginger High” is her first novel. She is presently attending Westhampton Beach High School, and is in the tenth grade. She is planning a career as a writer and a teacher. You can visit her website at or her blog at Connect with Melissa at Twitter at or Facebook at

Watch the trailer for Ginger High at

2 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds like excellent advice. I never used to journal details of my characters, but I've found I really need to now.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great post on Characters Melissa.
Congratulations on your debut novel GINGER HIGH!
All the best,