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Monday Musings…Connecting to the Characters

One thing that I’ve realized recently, is that it is so important as a reader to connect with the main character. If you don’t have that connection, it’s easy to skim and/or not care about the main characters. And that’s a tall order for authors because I, the reader, have my own life experiences, whereas the main character can be big or small, tall or short, young or old, sick or well, funny or serious, male or female, black or white, etc., and I’m just…me.

So how does an author connect his/her reader to his main character? Details. It’s all in the details. The better an author describes a person, the better you begin to understand their motivations and why they act the way they act…even if you don’t care for the way they act. It’s important to know that my main character hates starbucks and loves dunkin donuts. It’s important to know that the main character beat up the school bully when they were 12. Details, a person makes.

Complexity. A villain who is all bad is generic. That’s not to say that there are no all bad villains. But if he is going to be that way, than give him/her a quirk. Make them human. If it’s an evil fiance, well the hero proposed for a reason.

On the flipside, perfection is annoying. The main character must have a flaw, even if its as simple as eating a bowl of M&Ms every night. They must be more than the person on the pages of a book. You should feel like if they stepped off the pages and entered the real world you would recognize that person.

And so I ask you, what are some things that make you connect to a character or understand them?

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