Apr 4, 2011

C is for Character Confessions

C is for Character Confession

One of the most important aspects of a successful story is a strong character that readers adore. Think about your favorite characters in books. They're heroic, relatable, and full of life. Readers love these characters because they come alive on the page and live their OWN life in their OWN world.

Check out The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900, and see if your favorite made the list.

When writing a novel, and even when writing a story, you have to allow your characters to live on their own. They have to be lovable and relatable. And even the villains must provoke that love-to-hate feeling within readers.

One of the best techniques to bring your characters to life is to get them to confess.

If you treat your characters like they exist without the necessity of your fingertips and imagination, it will be easier for them to live on their own. If you confront them, they'll be willing to spill their innermost thoughts, secrets, pains, and desires.

So try confronting your characters? Start out small, asking simple, easy questions such as, "Tell me about yourself," just to establish the comfort zone. Then move forward to asking stronger points, such as "What is your biggest fear?" and "What do you want the most?" Don't restrict the answers you receive, as you can always include/ignore the points that you choose. But during this exercise, use open and free communication to get your characters to reveal the most information possible in the time that you are given.

Good luck! And let me know how it goes! I will be applying this technique today too in order to get a confession from my main character!

About the A to Z Challenge: A challenge to write 26 blog posts in 26 days using all 26 letters of the alphabet. This accounts for every day of the month of April excluding Sundays. It's designed to encourage blogging, increase blog posting, and create friendships with fellow bloggers. Begins April 1st and ends April 30th. Join the friendly community of bloggers attempting this challenge, today!


  1. I must go to this link and see who's on there!

  2. There is nothing like a good confession to stir things up. Great post.

    Also an A to Z challenger!

  3. Wow, this is really amazing! Not just this article, but this whole site! Way to go! I will definitely have to try confronting my main character. :)

  4. that was a very interesting list of characters. Thanks for the link.
    Moody Writing

  5. Can't blame our characters for being sketchy with the info, they know as soon as we find out their biggest fear, that's what we'll be throwing at them in the narrative :)
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  6. A solid post, smartly written, Rachel.

    I used to pass on writing exercises. Felt they were a waste of time.

    No more. Now I see them as seeds from which little bits of story may grow. And if you don't try those things at the outset, you'll miss those opportunities to grow your characters.

    Thanks for this.

    D: Devious Devices from the DeMoulin factory

  7. I'm glad you all liked the link and the post! Definitely be checking back at your blogs!

    Joe - Glad I could help! (:

    Charmaine - You're very right. Just gotta ask the questions the right way and sneak it out of them. Then it's torture! [Insert evil laugh here] And then hopefully a happy ending, if they're lucky. (;