If anything’s 100% guaranteed to put the kick in your story, it’s your fictional people–your characters.
Story is important, yes. But somebody once said, Plot is character. I believe him/her. And you will as well once you see what this post has to offer.
Your story is bound to move your readers if it’s populated with compelling characters
|Will Smith and son in Pursuit of Happyness|
Photo credit: Flickr
Readers want characters they can identify with.
The protagonist of your story does not necessarily have to be superhuman. They don’t even have to fit into the prototype Rambo-style hero niche. The single ingredient which shoves a reader beyond the edge of reality and sends them scrambling into your fictional world (and if I may add, with great pleasure) is how much you make your characters partakers in the fellowship of your reader’s sufferings.
Compelling characters are often than not, ordinary people going through the motions, having the blues. And especially, characters who attain the goal of their dreams when they come through. That goal could be anything from something as other-worldly as superpowers to one as ordinary as a job. (I’m thinking of Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness, here.)
What are the things that strike you about your favorite stories? Who are your favorite characters? There might be a story there.
Plot is what your characters do. The bottom line is who your characters are and what your characters do should be interesting or you end up with a blunt tale in your hands.
Without compelling characters, there can be no compelling story.
Let your pen bleed!