What makes characters great? (And I don’t mean great as in a great person, though that’s a fun conversation too. I’m talking about writing characters who could walk off the page and into real life.) I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately as I work on another story. I’ve learned over the years of writing that I’m drawn to certain types of characters.
I enjoy books where the characters have real flaws and might not always make the right choices. Even when they make the wrong choice and I want to toss the book, it draws me in. For many, there’s a fine line between reading for escape and too much of the character’s struggles.
For me, those struggles are what make the characters stand out. That’s what makes them real, even though they’re fictional. Some characters make all the right choices but they have internal struggles. Then there’s the internal verses external struggle. Some characters face a physical obstacle that they must overcome. Those can be interesting and usually involves another character, or several characters. Other characters face an internal battle where they must overcome something within themselves. Those are my favorite.
What about you? Have you discovered a certain “type” of character trait you prefer that makes the character great?