Four Ways Character Building Makes or Breaks a Book Plot

Frances Woodward, a character in Joseph Woodward's "Lost Between the Continents" circa 1911

Character building is the critical element that makes or breaks a book. When an author creates a character, they must consider several key things: Does my character have depth? Do my character’s actions and dialogue tell me who he is? Is my character relatable to readers? If not, how can I change him so that he becomes relatable? These questions will help you create characters your readers will fall in love with.

If you’re looking for fiction biography books, check out Joseph Woodward’s collection. This blog will outline different ways of character building:

1.     Character building makes the story meaningful

Your best historical fiction novel is a character-building exercise. The way that you build up your characters is essential to your story. You don’t want flat, two-dimensional characters. If you do, you will fail to connect with your readers because they won’t be able to relate to them.

Your characters must grow throughout the story. They need to start one way and end up somewhere else by the end of the tale (unless it’s a tragedy, in which case they may not make it out alive).

2.     Character building creates an emotional connection between the reader and the story

Characters help us empathize with the protagonist and create an emotional connection with the reader. A powerful character-driven story can make you laugh, cry, or cringe. It can even change the way you look at life.

If you want your reader to become emotionally invested in your characters, you need to create memorable characters with which they can connect. You can do this by delving deep into their emotions, thoughts, fears, and reliefs.

3.     Character building enhances the story

By having well-developed characters, you can enhance your story. The characters are an important part of a story because they are the ones who are included in the conflict, setting, atmosphere, theme, mood, climax, resolution.

Characters are what make stories come alive. They give the story depth and dimension, making it more believable and relatable. Readers love to be able to relate to characters. A character is like an avatar for the reader, allowing them to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It takes a lot of skill and talent to create characters that live on the pages of a fiction biography book, but they are worth all the effort if they can captivate your audience.

4.     A well-developed character makes readers appreciate the plot

Good character building makes the reader appreciate the plot more and look forward to what will happen.

A gripping plot is sufficient to keep the reader engrossed in reading. But, if it is supported by strong character development or characterization, the reader’s interest in the story goes up manifold. Good character building gives birth to a full-fledged personality of a character in the reader’s mind.

Joseph Woodward stories character Annabelle Adams

Many books that fall flat don’t do so because of the plot. They fail because there is no character development, and as a result, we as readers can’t connect with the main characters. If you’d like to learn more about how award-winning storyteller Joseph Woodward writes such compelling characters, or if you want to ask anything about your favorite fiction biography books or historical novels from my collection, feel free to ask me any time.

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Welcome to my musings! I’m an author who loves to write novels and short stories that you can read on-the-go. When I’m not holed up writing, you can find me in my garden or at my piano.