Monday, April 25, 2011


As writers we put a lot of effort into making our characters well rounded.  We give them personalities and quirks. Or rather, they have personality and we strive to show it on the paper, to help others know them as we know them.  But a character must be someone the reader can relate to, though I don’t think the reader necessarily has to like the character.  They need to have some good, some bad, they need habits and preferences. 

Allergies have been pretty good this year.  Instead of hijacking my life for a couple months they haven’t been more than a mild inconvenience.  I don’t know why I got off easy this year.  As I was wondering about it I realized I had never written a character with allergies.  Never.  Even though they are something that is a huge part of me and, I believe, I could write very convincingly.  I couldn’t decide if it was because none of my characters had allergies or if I was purposefully avoiding it because they make me so miserable I would hate to relive it in writing.  The Engineer has IBS (I know, too much info) and I don’t think I would do that to a character either.  No one wants to read about it.

Are there things you don’t/won’t do to your characters?  I’m not talking about plot or conflict.  Are there personality traits or habits you don’t give them, either because you don’t know anything about them or because you know too much about it and don’t want to write it. 


  1. Hm-m... going to think on that one and get back to you... how about you answer first?

  2. I've been thinking a lot about my characters since I posted this and am considering doing a follow up post on Wednesday. But as a short answer I can't really think of any that I wouldn't touch. There are some, like IBS, that I wouldn't put in unless it contributed to the plot. I don't think I would use it just as a casual identifying characteristic, but one thing I've learned is never say never.

    I'll keep thinking, tune in on Wednesday.

  3. Great post! I don't think I could give my characters allergies either. Just the thought of it makes me feel congested. Allergies are such a pain and I don't want to be reminded of them.

  4. Thanks Domey and welcome to my blog! Sounds like you get them pretty bad too. Still, the idea has now taken hold of me. I'll have to use allergies somewhere.

  5. Hmm, well, there was that time I tried to give Rosa spectacles [g] She still could have them, but in the end it made no sense to the plot or theme to have other characters react to her wearing them.
    Off the top of my head, one thing I can't see myself doing is having a main character proficient in firearms or martial arts. If there's anything I know nothing about...

  6. I don't know anything about guns either. Right now I'm trying to research hunting weapons in the mid 1800's. At least I'm supposed to be. I keep putting it off in favor of more editing.