Creating Three-Dimensional Characters
When writing nonfiction, your characters need to appear real whether they are real people or not. Your characters must seem real to you, or they will never seem real to your readers. First develop your characters in your mind, which may take a long time to do. Then develop character sketches.
For your own files, draw detailed character sketches of your characters. What do they look like? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Help the readers to identify with the problems of your characters. Help them to see their own problems in this non-threatening way.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Is your main character male or female? Why?
How old is your character? Why not younger? Why not older?
Give a physical description of your character. What does his (or her) physical description tell you about the personality, theme, or conflict?
Describe your character’s emotions and personality.
What does your character believe about himself (or herself), the world, God, and life?
What problem(s) faces your character? How did this problem arise?
How does your character think this problem can be solved? Why won’t this proposed solution work?
What does your character need to learn, experience, or believe before the problem can be resolved?
What experiences (conflicts) could bring your character to this insight or change?
Will your readers grow or change? Why or why not?