All stories have different characters. There is often a protagonist, and then other supporting characters. All these characters collide with each other, fuel the reader’s imagination, and help progress the story through their eyes, and that’s why it is essential that you develop strong, relatable, and memorable characters in your story. Here are 3 ways to help you do just that -
Roles and research:
The very first step is to identify all the characters in your story. What role do they play in the story? How important or secondary are they to the story? Research, research, research and get inside your character’s head. If there is a pseudonym that he uses, how did he get that name? Is it because of his special skills, is it a physical attribute? Is it his attitude? Express his personality traits in a vivid language. If your guy is nervous, show how he jumps every time someone calls him, or how he bites his nails, or how he looks at the ground while talking. If the woman is happy, say that she often breaks into a dance right in the middle of the kitchen, talk about how she smiles from ear-to-ear, showing off her big front teeth.
The sure-shot way to make your character relatable is to make your readers empathise with him. Let readers see and feel the character through his opinions, personality, conflict, joy, and events as they happen. Delve deeper into the backstory of the character. They don’t necessarily have to be the superheroes who will save us from our mundane lives. Give these characters some flaws, imperfections, some powers. Establish these strengths and weaknesses through setting, behaviours, and physical attributes. If they have had a traumatic childhood, there is a possibility that they have grown up to be introverts - less confident, always doubting their decisions. If your character has had a life-altering accident recently, he may have come out to be a depressed cripple, or he may have found a new respect for life.
Think deeply about your character. Try to imagine every minute detail about your character, as if he were real. What is his name? How tall or short is he? How much does he weigh? How old is he? How does he sit or walk? What mood is he mostly in? Think of a long, simple day when he is in the park, walking. What is he thinking about? Does he greet people in the park? Does he call anybody? Does he eat from a street-side stall? Does he pet a dog? Or does he sit by the lake and pass away time all alone, lost in his thoughts? Do people treat him differently? Write it all in first person, for creating a better connection with him.
Here is a short questionnaire that may help you develop your character further -
1. Who are the people that surround this character?
2. What is their general disposition?
3. What do they do for a living?
4. Are they made up of good experiences or bad memories?
5. What are their hobbies?