- Giving a character a colourful hat or a stammer does not make them into a character. It may fix them in the reader’s mind, which can be a good thing, but it won’t give them a character
- Don’t be arbitrary. Some people construct characters by putting together a list of contradictions. You end up with a character that is original, but it won’t seem authentic.
- Don’t fall into the trap of trying to capture every passing character in detail. Focus on what’s interesting.
- Some people accuse others of the faults they see in themselves. Do your characters do that?
- Characters come alive in their interactions with other characters. Does one character irritate another, annoy them, make them laugh, make them jealous… ?
- Even better: what do your characters think of each other? How do your characters talk about other characters currently off page?