Become Your Characters When Writing Fiction

19 Apr


Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.
Roald Dahl

Read that quote again.  When writing fiction, we are always faced with developing characters.  I know when I wrote my first fiction novel, I had to outline who my characters were. I wrote down their appearance, their beliefs and their personality.  That was the easy part.

Next I had to become the characters.  I have said before that the hardest part of writing my first novel was switching back and forth between my characters.  One would talk a certain way, and feel certain feelings, and then I would be another character with different speech patterns and different feelings and beliefs.  That is hard to do, and like the quote says, it is draining.

If you want your characters to come alive, you must step inside of their skin and walk around in their shoes.  It is the only way to properly introduce your characters to the readers and allow the readers to identify with those characters.


Is anyone interested in finding jobs as a freelance writer?  I have used this site in the past and found it a treasure chest of jobs to pick from.

I am not big on bidding for a freelance job.  I think the price is driven down by doing that, and my time is valuable. I refuse to work for a couple bucks per piece.  I pick and choose which freelance jobs interest me and also which ones pay what I am willing to write for.  Sure I miss out on a lot because of that attitude, but again, my time is valuable and so is yours.


I know, it sounds like a silly question, but I assure you that it is not.  Why do you write? Do you just write to earn some money, or do you write because it is your passion?

I can only tell you my truth regarding writing.  I believe writers are artists.  I believe we have been given a gift, one that allows us to alter reality and elicit emotions.  We can soothe the savage beast and we can rouse the rabble into action.  We can comfort and we can excite. We can suspend reality with our words and we can give focus to reality.

I hope that each of you feels the same, that you are an artist with words.  It is a marvelous feeling.

CONTEST SITE OF THE DAY is another site that gives you a list of contests happening.  Again, be sure you read the submission guidelines carefully.


What do you see in this picture?  Can you write a poem about it? Can you write a short story about it, or an opinion essay? Give it a try and see what you come up with.



Parting is such sweet sorrow, but never fear, I will return soon with some more thoughts and suggestions.  If there is something you would like to see on this blog, please feel free to give suggestions. I’m more than willing to add things if I can.

I’m going to give you a break and take the weekend off. I’ll see you all again on Monday.

Thank you for the visit.  You are always appreciated here.


8 Responses to “Become Your Characters When Writing Fiction”

  1. Shauna April 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Bill, I will take your advice. I, to date, have only had one or two characters in my short stories; most of whom are extensions of me. I’ve not touched my novel because I’ve decided to add characters to it. I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Now I will work on development based on your (forever) sage advice. You’re the best!

    • Bill Holland April 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Thank you Sha! It is a difficult process but one that pays off when it is time to write. Have your characters over for tea and get to know them better. 🙂

  2. Ruchira April 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I agree Bill, when writing ficition, a writer ought to get involved in their characters to get a feel of them.

    Another great advise!

    Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Bill Holland April 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Thank you Ruchira. I’m glad you agree and I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

  3. katstrat April 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi, Bill, this is Kathryn Stratford. This was a very interesting article on characters. When I am in the mood to work on character development, it is fun. But sometimes it is very taxing, to become different people. Especially if I am particularly attached to one person, and don’t really feel like “being” another character.
    I look forward to checking out the websites, as well. This is an exciting blog you have going now. Thanks!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Billybuc April 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks Kathryn! I agree. I get into one character and I don’t want to switch to another one. LOL It’s all part of learning this craft we call writing. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend as well.

  4. Melanie Chisnall April 21, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    During November I spent 2 hours each day becoming different characters in my book. Until you do that, you will never understand what a writer means when they say they are exhausted or drained from writing. What an experience! I hope to get to the publishing stage of writing another fiction book in the future. Thanks for these great tips, Bill. Have a super weekend!

    • Bill Holland April 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Well, Mel, Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your experience with creating characters. I am in the initial stages of a new fiction for Humanity One World, and I am excited and jazzed about it. 🙂

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