How to Make Relatable Characters: Part 1 {How to Keep Readers Interested}

Welcome to the first post in this series! (second?) (by the way, make sure to catch the announcement post for it here!)

When reading a book, readers see what’s going on in the story through the main character. They interpret the actions of all the other side characters based on how the main character does. Unless, of course, it’s horribly written, and the reader is busy groaning and/or yelling at the main character in disgust because they think that they’re being stupid.

That, my friend, is something we writers desperately want to avoid. And the first step to that is to make a character relatable.


Pilot Episode

Today’s Goals:

  • Niche down with your characters
  • Decide what type of book your’s is
  • Implement

Niching Down

Some writers may not like me for this at first, but I promise, you’ll thank me later if you do this.

The first step to create a relatable character is not what most people think it is, which is thinking of your character and then making them become relatable. You’ve got to first think of your reader. Who are they? What are they like? There are small things about these people that you’ll be incorporating into your character that’ll truly make them resonate.

I know that when writers are asked who their audience is, they like to reply, “Everyone!” but they shouldn’t be.

To really resonate with a reader, you can’t try to make your book good for science fiction readers, horror readers, different religious groups, and still thread a theme through it. I’d be 1000% impressed if someone could pull that off and still write a good story.

To truly niche down, you’ve got to think of who this book is truly going to be for. Is it for a boy or a girl? Is it for someone who has too big of an ego, or too small of an amount of self-esteem? How could this story impact them?

And it is in that last paragraph that we find our next topic.

What Do They Need to Know/Learn?

Generally, books can be divided into 2 categories:

  1. Books that are written to escape the world.
  2. Books with themes in them that are meant to enlighten people.

My favorite type of book is a combination of the two, which is why I try to write that. I want a fun book full of magic and amazing characters who also teach the reader something along the way. When the characters slowly learn something and change because of it, that’ll teach the reader as well.

When you’re deciding who the story is going to be for, as mentioned above, they’re going to have a problem. Literally everyone has problems, so figure out what your reader’s problem is. You could target your audience based on what their problem is instead as well. For example, I chose my audience for my book, The Storm Inside, based on what they need to learn: to love themselves. Then I can branch out further.

This is mainly written for teenagers, and more specifically, teenage girls. So my audience is teenage girls who need to learn to love themselves.

Ta da!

Going Small(er)

Guess what? We have to dig even deeper than we’ve already dug! But I’m going to have to leave you on a bit of a cliffhanger, because I have an epic post planned in 2 weeks that continues this. 😉 Believe me, you don’t want to miss it! It’s a very special post… *winks even more exaggeratedly*

Now it’s your turn!

Decide who your book is for. How old is your reader? What is their problem? You’ve got this. 😃

Do you niche down?

Does your character learn something during your story?


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

One thought on “How to Make Relatable Characters: Part 1 {How to Keep Readers Interested}

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