Readers are pulled into a novel by the promise of a fascinating story. They finish the novel, though, because of intriguing, realistic characters. Here are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” that may help readers connect to your characters.
DO use real people. Everyone you know has a story that can enliven a fictional character. When you discover that your neighbor whom you’ve known for ten years did jail time for torching a baby food plant, you see everything else about her in a different light. Those same people probably also have interesting traits—Sally likes to flip a quarter across her knuckles—or annoying habits—Henry hums “Muskrat Love” as he eats . Be careful, though, that you . . .
DON’T use real names.