Friday, September 24, 2010

The 3 C's for Creating a Compelling Character

I'm going to start by saying that if you don't know Elana Johnson you should!  Jump over to her blog and check out this awesome Great Blogging Experiment!  

I'm still consider myself quite a beginner writer.  Therefore, I'm still learning how to make my character's compelling.  I gave it extra thought this morning and came up with the 3 C's to creating a compelling character.

CONNECT.  The reader needs to be able to connect to the MC.  Make your MC sympathetic.  Help your readers relate to your character.  Give your MC flaws, pet peeves, ups, downs, and all those other humanistic traits that we ALL have.  That's what makes us human and that's what makes us able to relate to one another.  

CONSISTENCY.  Make sure your character stays true and consistent to the personality that you represent in the beginning.  This will help your character STAY compelling.  

CHOICES.  Personalities are shaped by choices.  What choices have your MC made in the past?  What choices are they being faced with right now?  What choices are they going to be making in the future?  More importantly, how do they handle their choices?  Don't make every choice an easy one.  Give them choices that show inner struggle.  We all have inner struggle.  Not every choice is between good and bad.  It may be between good and good.  But which one is the best and which one is your character going to make.  And why?  What drives them?  What do they hold dear?  Make them work for it.  Have your character make some bad decisions and show how they learn from them.  That learning journey will help the reader connect to the MC and make the story compelling!

To sum things up, here are my two bits in one sentence.  The way to create compelling characters is to connect them to the reader by consistent character driven choices.  

If you want more tips head over to Elana's blog to find out what others have to say on the matter!  

Have a great day!


  1. I like to consistency part of this post the best. It's hard to keep on trying to add here and there and remember to make them consistent. Which just reminds me that I can think up something nutty for him (the character) to do but would he as a person really do that? The consistency is a great reminder. Thank you!

  2. I'm with Patricia. I want readers to fall in love and STAY in love. To do that, I need to make sure my character delivers in the beginning, middle and end. They must grow and change and stay consistent.

  3. You nailed it with the 3 C's (and the alliteration is nice, too). Now the tricky bit is to do it.

  4. I love the emphasis on having the character make choices. As they grow and change maybe they'll make better choices. Thanks!

  5. Yay for alliteration and yay for your three (vital) points. Consistency, connecting and change are all so important.

    Great post.

  6. Well done with the 3 C's. Great points :)

  7. What an original way to go about this. Very nice!

  8. What you have written makes alot of sense,
    I enjoyed your post and found it intresting.

    Have a lovely week-end;

  9. Thanks everyone! It was a lot of fun using the C's. I almost used R's and S's, but they all ended up meaning the same thing and the C's sounded the best! It was great to hear from you all. Now, hopefully, I can apply this to my characters. Good luck with your writing and have fun.

  10. Michelle--Really good! CCC--connect, consistency and choices...catchy and easy formula to remember....Thanks!

  11. The three C's were brilliant! I loved your take on the experiment. Your view was quite different from the others which I love. Consistency is key!

    I'm a new follower! Thanks for participating in this experiment. It's fun to learn others views!

  12. Choices really shaped my main character.
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest!!

  13. Ooh, I love your one-sentence sum up! It's brilliancy in a nutshell. :)

  14. I love your 3 C's. All great points. Well done!

  15. I'm still dawdling through the Great Blog Experiment. You have one of the more concise entries. I like the 3 C's and the way you boiled it down to one sentence. Very good!

    Tossing It Out


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