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Camp Prep, Next Step

Let's put some flesh on some bones, and no I'm not talking about doing anything that requires lightning or any zombie creating radio-active goo.

Nope, I'm talking about creating characters that your reader will find engaging, realistic, and relatable. The ‘nouns’ in your writing are integral to the story and the more “fleshed” out they are, the better.

Whether your characters are human or not, you’ll want to know as much about them as possible, otherwise, they’ll come across as flat as the paper they’re printed on.

For Human characters, knowing the following things about them helps when it comes to writing them into your work:

• Physical description

• Age

• Where they live

• Likes, dislikes

• Fears

• Desires

• Shortcomings

• How do they make decisions

• Quirks, idiosyncrasies

• Family – brothers, sisters, parents, favorite aunt, cousins they fought with during summers on the farm

• Where they grew up

• Where they went to school

• Job, income level

• Anything else that is pertinent to the plot of the story you want to tell.

Mind you, not all of this will end up in your story. You can decide how much or how little of your characters you want to reveal directly. No matter how much or little you choose to reveal, the more YOU know about the character’s background the better able you are to show (not tell) them to your reader. You can use a myriad of fun, enticing, descriptions or scenarios instead of blandly telling the reader what’s what. Think of it this way, it’s the difference between reading the definition of rain in the dictionary and reading the description of rain in your favorite poem.

It's also good to know your characters intimately so you'll know how they'll react to the situations you put them in.

Side note:

If your “characters” are thoughts, ideas, concepts you wish to teach your reader about, then you’ll want to do some research on the following:

  • How did this idea or concept come about?

  • What are the pros and cons?

  • How will this idea or concept benefit your reader?

  • What are some of the obstacles the reader may encounter when trying to learn or understand the concept, and how might they overcome them?

  • Are there prominent sources that lend credibility to the concept/idea?


Did you find this helpful? Get this and more in the Simply Self-Published Guide, your full workbook on how to go from blank page to self-published in as few as six months. Purchase and download immediately to get started on your self-publishing journey.

We've got two more steps to cover so be sure you come back Friday for Step 3.

Sending love and inspiration,


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