Relating To Your Character

Whichever scenario you choose, bear in mind that if you don't care about your character, neither will anyone else.

The 'old' Sally (Figure 4) may be ruthless but it's not her fault. As her creator, it is your task to convey her innermost thoughts and feelings to the reader so that they will understand the reasons behind her behaviour.

In order to truly relate to Sally, you need to put yourself in her place and imagine how you would feel if:

♦ when you were four years old, you saw your father leave home, never to return

♦ after your father left, you felt utterly alone and abandoned

♦ you were brought up by a selfish, spiteful mother

♦ without warning, your mother married a womaniser whom you hardly knew and who clearly disliked you

♦ you were taken away to live in a foreign country

♦ you were confronted with a baby sister then immediately packed off to boarding school

♦ your father died suddenly, severing the only link with memories of a happier time.

You would have to be particularly hard-hearted not to relate to at least one of the above circumstances. Adding this kind of depth to a character brings realism and is a major factor in obtaining that vital ingredient, reader identification.

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