Thursday, April 26, 2012

Checklist for Characters in your Manuscript

Since so many of you enjoyed the checklist I wrote last week, I decided to make up more for various aspects of writing. This week, it's all about your characters.

1. Are your characters likeable? (Or unlikeable if they're supposed to be not liked?)
2. Are your characters relateable?
3. Does your MC grow throughout the story? (A great way to check this is to think of your character at the end of the story and place them in the opening scene. If he or she would react differently, then your MC definitely changed.)
4. Do your characters stay true to themselves?
5. Do your characters react to situations as one would aspect based on their personality? Or is there a reason why they don't?
6. Are your characters cliche?
7. Are your character multidimensional?
8. Do your characters have flaws? Pet peeves? Quirks?
9. Are your supporting characters as developed as your primary characters?
10. Does your villain have a believable reason for their actions?
11. Are your characters compelling?
12. Are your characters sympathetic?
13. Have you given enough physical description of your characters that your readers can easily visualize them?

Be sure to come back and keep an eye on these checklists because if I think of more items to add to them, I'll updated them


Natalie Aguirre said...

Great checklist. I can't think of anything to add.

LD Masterson said...

Excellent list. I'm adding it to my "tips" folder.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent checklist!

Joshua said...

Bookmarked and starred for future reference again. Thanks!

Erin Kane Spock said...

Great list. By the end of my books, I always end up really loving my villain. He would start out as the cliche bad guy, but develop layers (like an onion, not a cake)to a point where I had to reevaluate his motivations. I always think I've done this prior to starting, but they grow so much during the project I don't think I'm capable of planning enough.

Angela Brown said...

Wonderful list. One of the things I'm working on is making my characters more likeable or sympathetic, depending on which WiP I'm working on.