Throwback Thursday: How to Build Your Characters in Six Easy Steps

A Writer's Path

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Nat Leblanc

So you’ve got a great idea for a novel or story that you’re DYING to tell. The premise is profound, the symbolism is subtle, and the big reveal at the end is going to blow your readers’ minds. You throw together an outline and show it to an editor friend. They read over it and turn to you.

“Why do I care about these people? What do they want?”

“But the story!” you argue moronically, having not yet read this article. “The story is brilliant, right? The premise is great. I know it is!”

Your editor friend throws the draft to the ground. “Maybe,” he says, lighting a cigarette and staring into the distance. “But it didn’t feel like the characters cared, so why should I have cared?…

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