I was planning on this being a bit of a longer post, but alas, my time is short. So you will have to do with short and sweet. That's okay, right?
Here are my (brief) thoughts on writing compelling characters.
They have to be complex. They have to seem real. How do you accomplish that? You have to be willing to show all sides of someone's character. You have to give them flaws (yes, even your hero with the rippling abs of steel), you have to give them strengths/"like-able" qualities (yes, even your super evil villain), you need to give them foibles and habits and maybe even phrases they say that are easily recognizable. Maybe she bites her nails? Or he has a habit of cracking his knuckles (ew). But you get the idea. Case in point: "What the bleep?" Anybody who's read that book immediately knows what character says that. It's unique and fun and makes Evie who she is.
Your so called "bad guy" can't JUST be bad. He/She needs to have depth to make your reader more involved. Your protag/hero needs to have weaknesses that they can overcome during the course of the book(s). Real people are multi-faceted. They aren't just bad or just good. Great characters are the same.
Was I going to dazzle you with examples and pictures and more? Yes. Maybe I can do another post about it next week if you'd like. Feel free to let me know in the comments. And I'd like to know two things: who are your favorite protagonists (and why?) and your favorite "villain" (and why)? I'll bet they are pretty complex characters. I can't wait to see your answers!
Stay tuned for my Monday Musings (instead of Friday Five since I did the blog challenge) that includes ballroom dancing, Thurl Bailey singing to me, and more!