The best way to write a memorable story that stays on your reader’s mind even as they turn the last page is through building personal connections with them. Your readers must invest in your story by relating to your characters. If they can step into the shoes of your character, they can definitely experience the story as a journey rather than reading it with a sense of detachment.
Here are some tips to help your readers relate to your story’s character. But before that, you would like to check this video:
Create a three-dimensional character
One of the primary reasons readers fail to connect with the character is because they are too fictional. You need to breathe life in your characters, so they appear as living, breathing individuals. A three-dimensional character will rescue your story from falling flat.
Ascribe a personality to all the characters, and map character behaviors against these. You could make use of the best novel writing software and enter your character outlines and fill it up. Naturally, just because you fit them into a specific mold, it does not mean they do not have room for “out of character” characterization.
Describe their physical appearance and emotional feelings to make them more human. You may even combine the two using a writer’s technique known as pathetic fallacy, which uses the external traits to enhance the inner emotions.
You want your readers to believe that your character could be the friendly neighbor, or the grouchy store owner, or a controlling boss, who they come across in their lives.
Highlight your character’s yearnings
One of the easiest ways to get readers to invest in your character is by making them want something. This “want” could be anything, from love, fame, and money to saving their dying child to the desire to be accepted in a dream college!
When your character wants something and wants it desperately, it exposes their vulnerability. It makes them more human.
You can even work this need into the plot of your story as it can play a pivotal role in helping the character achieve this goal.
For example, if you have a love story, you can write about how someone goes from one relationship to another in search of true love. In this case, the “want” could be love. Similarly, if you are writing a suspenseful thriller, the “want” could be the need to save the world.
Give them a purpose
When you have a character who stands up for an important cause, you give them a chance to earn the readers’ respect. However, this characteristic should not be superfluous but, rather, must be driven by strong moral conviction. You may even tie it up with the character’s experience that they may encounter during the course of the story.
For instance, someone who witnesses police brutality against a black man could be motivated to take a stand against systemic racism!
Once you give your character a sense of purpose on important issues, you can successfully capture your readers’ attention. Readers would be naturally curious to know about the character’s goals and their stories, which will compel them to read your story right until its end!
Make them an underdog
Making your character an underdog is one of the most classic writer’s tropes. It lays the perfect setting for your story to act as an inspiration for those who are struggling with the same issues that your character is facing. It will make your readers more involved in the story and pique their interest.
Outline the problem and the battles that will foreshadow one of the lowest points for your character. And when everything appears bleak and hopeless, give them a breakthrough that will propel them to success.
After all, who does not like the story where the hero fights against all the odds and emerges a winner?
Grant them idealistic qualities (and some flaws)
For most readers, a book is an escape from reality. They crave to read about people who embody all the traits and ideals that they aspire to possess. Characters that reflect the best that there is in humanity will enjoy greater reader engagement and will be the reason why the reader continues reading.
However, it would be unwise to give your characters a “God status” where everything about them is impeccable. In some instances, it would be almost perfect to pair these qualities with something contradictory. Play on their flaws and their strengths to make them whole and human.
Take Severus Snape, for example, whose primary character trait was that of a strict teacher who particularly hated Harry Potter. And then, at the climax of the story, the writer manages to pivot his character and redeem him from all the hatred!
Create a deplorable antagonist
You can only have readers rooting for your character if you have a villain that they absolutely hate. Therefore, the character of the antagonist must also be as detailed as that of the hero.
This adversary must have the capacity to highlight the best and worst qualities possessed by your protagonist. The sheer presence of the villain must make it harder for your character to overcome the challenges that they already face.
As a result, when they finally manage to face the obstacles and overcome it, you can expect your readers to cheer for them. Therefore, the best way to make your character more relatable and endearing would be by creating an equally despicable anti-hero.
To make your character relatable, they must be set up in a way that invokes empathy. While it may seem challenging, it is not impossible. Once you have managed to connect with your readers on a personal level, you will be successful in creating a story that is simply unputdownable.
You need to transport your readers into the character’s world and make them what they feel. Soon enough, you will not only write a bestseller but will also mint a lot of money as it gets adapted into a movie. On another note, a well-written character that is highly relatable will eliminate the need for screenwriting software, as the writer has already carried out a bulk of the legwork!