Welcome back to another addition in our World Building topic! Last time, I discussed Write your World! In which I laid out the quick and dirty on actually writing! To recap, it’s a simple as writing! Don’t believe me? Check it out!
I posted on Facebook asking for recommendations on what to write about next for my World Building topic. The topic that stood out for me, at least for today’s post, was How To Create Relatable Characters So That Readers Care About What Happens To Them!
That is a very tough question to answer, but I’ll try my best! The answer itself depends on the readers right? I mean, if I am creating a character who has 5 dogs and no cats, then a cat lover may not even relate to them. BUT if I say that they work at a feline hospital and are always around cats, maybe then it will relate. So back to it depending on the reader, it does and doesn’t. Let me explain.
A relatable character (if I am spelling relatable wrong, I’m sorry!) is one that has gone through different experiences that someone can connect with. Maybe they have a certain personality that the reader connects with. Maybe they live in the same state as a reader, possibly drive the same car. To touch upon Creating your character! , when creating a character, more often than not, you are taking from your life. Whether it be experiences, people you have met, or places you have been, those factors are what people relate to. Keep that in mind when creating a character, people usually relate to the experience the characters are going through, as well as the characters themselves.
Let’s Break it Down:
We are going to create a relatable character together. (and if you don’t relate with them, let me know in the comments!) Jack Riggs is a 23 year old girl in college. (We created a gender, an age, and what she does.) She goes to the University of Maryland. (relation to the school). When she is not in class for her Aerospace Engineering Major, she is at work. (Her day to day, balancing work and school). When she is not in class or at work, she is in her one bedroom apartment with her 4 year old daughter. (Single mom, balancing life, school, work, and a daughter. Right now we have a relatable character). On her weekends, Jack interns at the local Aerospace engineering firm 12 hours a day. Having almost no money left over, Jack does not pay for babysitting. (Now we add event/issue they are going through). As a young girl Jack used to go to work with her father. Dr. Ned Riggs was a world renowned pocket universe scientist. Before his mysterious disappearance he showed his daughter something amazing. The ability to create pocket worlds. But this came with a heavy price. An organization hellbent on the muting of scientific breakthrough has since been following and monitoring all aspects of Jack’s life. (now by this point we should have created a relatable character. So much so, that we could swap out the pocket universe story with anything else, and yet people would still relate to the character).
Wrap it up:
If you are still following we just created a very relatable character with a very unrelatable upbringing/experience. Creating a relatable character can be a difficult feat, who are they, what should they do, are they similar to another character in the story? By no means is it easy, but always remember that people relate not only to a person, but an event. The marriage of the two will create the relatable factor! Everyone you meet in life has something you relate too, use that! What we write is similar to what is in life!
I am sorry for the brief post! If you would like me to touch more on this, let me know!
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