Bernardine Evaristo gave a class on writing strong characters at The Free Word Centre, as a part of The Literary Consultancy’s digital conference.
- Your characters need to be believable, that is, as psychologically complex and flawed as we members of the human race.
- A happy life is great to lead but not so great to read about; it’s your job to create problems for your characters.
- It sometimes helps to base your characters on people you know, but be warned, there are sometimes consequences…
- When writing in the first person, your character might just start writing herself. Go with the flow.
- There are no rules only tools – hoover up the advice of writers but only take what works for you.
Ten novels with strong characters
|Junot Diaz||The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao|
|Kazuo Ishiguro||Remains of the Day|
|Hollis Hampton Jones||Comes the Night|
|Matthew Kneale||English Passengers|
|John Grisham||Runaway Jury|
|Maggie Gee||My Cleaner|
|Lola Shoneyin||The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives|