Top Tips on Creating Great Fiction Characters!

cat and mouse

Let me ask you a question! Of all the fiction you have read over the years, what book or books stand out the most?

You can probably narrow it down to a handful of novels and that’s it! It’s surprising isn’t? Don’t get me wrong there are so many very good novels out there, sometimes it’s difficult to pick just one! However, in my view memorable characters is what will take your book from good to excellent! And that’s the whole point of it isn’t it? You want your book to go beyond the ordinary and become extraordinary!

However, this process is worth mulling over when you are creating characters, especially your main character. Physical characteristics are by no means the only important facet of character creation. That said, do by all means make your protagonists unusual. For example, Alex Cross the central character in many of James Patterson’s novels stands not only because he is African/American but also because he is very well educated, enjoys classical music and is a loving family man! Not at all typical for a police detective! If you are not familiar with James Patterson’s work I urge you to take your pick from one of his many novels and get stuck in! You will not be disappointed! He is a great thriller writer!

So, the point I am trying to make here is that the fictional character Alex Cross I remember almost as if he were a real person and not a creation from a very competent writer! And this is what you need to create if you are going to hook your readers and have them think about your novel long after they have finished reading it!

Back to Alex Cross for a moment. Aside from his race he is also tall and distinctive and his side-kick Sampson is even taller and difficult to overlook, let alone forget! And I can tell you now that I have not read a James Patterson novel in some time, but I will remember those characters forever!

When developing character you should be striving for uniqueness and individuality because these are the aspects your readers will identify with on a subconscious level.

Physical attributes are one thing and can be anything, but more importantly think about the mental aspects of your character. Are they likeable or nasty? Are they forgetful or do they have a good memory? Are they trusting, shady, disagreeable, attractive? What sort of family background do they come from? Was it idyllic or was it less so? Do they have any secrets that you may or may not reveal by the end of the book. What are their inner thoughts and feelings, not just the obvious ones. The many aspects of creating character is complex and should not be underestimated for a moment, so get stuck in and see where it takes you. Your end result might surprise you!

Writing a novel it is a long involved process with the object being to keep the attention of your readers! Do not give them the opportunity to toss your book aside and start reading someone else’s work!

Finally, aim to create big, bold, bright characters, and watch your readers become fans!

Until next time,

Happy writing, S

james patterson

James Patterson

Published by Sharon's Writers Tidbits

Sharon is a writer who lives in north London and has a long-held passion for the art and craft of creative writing. Sharon's main interests are novels, short stories and poetry. She also enjoys writing non-fiction. She is an avid reader and has a threatening TBR pile of books!

One thought on “Top Tips on Creating Great Fiction Characters!

  1. Inspired by the likes of Jimmy Breslin, Joseph Waumbaugh, John Sandford and W.E.B. Griffin, I have tried to make my characters drive the plot. Though I do like some of the wizz bang technical fiction of Dale Brown and Tom Clancy, their characters also make the stories move right along.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Journey

Will power, Endurance and Love

Observation Blogger

Lifelong learner and blogging enthusiast

Lee A. Vockins.

Author - Poet - Blogger


A friendly space for all horror, mystery & speculative fiction lovers

From First Page to Last

A space to share book reviews and other book related treats

K.M. Allan

Writing Advice From A YA Author Powered By Chocolate And Green Tea


The website where movies count

MrHushHush Entries

Thoughts Unspoken

Lonely Power Poles

Writing, Reviewing, Ramblings

art by Jeremy Price

mostly painting News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

Sharon's Writers Tidbits

Support for Writers • Inspiration • Tidbits!

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

%d bloggers like this: