I’m wondering what people’s thoughts are on how to make characters interesting.
I really like my stories to give you some reason to like the characters and get invested while also getting to the hot parts quickly. Doing both at once can be difficult sometimes and I’m trying to pin down some ideas about what hooks you about a character.
Is it that the character has a particular challenge? That they’re funny and witty? That they’re hot? That they’re nice or a good person?
It’s easy enough to do, but I dislike when stories start out by the narrator explaining how sad the main character is. “Charles was super average and was so tiny/gangly/childlike/whatever that no one would ever be interested in him.” Yeah, I get it. But also as a reader I’m not interested in him.
When I watch movies, it’s often the sassy friend that I enjoy watching the most, even if they’re assholes. But then the strong, silent type, with some mystery, can be compelling. Or the character with some huge challenge to overcome from the beginning.
I’ve got a story in mind about two guys meeting on a train. One of them has a Chronivac and is hunked out and sexy as fuck. He’ll be easy to write. The other guy, who will first person narrate, is a virtual blank to me. Because he’s not what I’m interested in I’m wondering if anyone has ideas on how I can make him interesting. He can’t be the strong silent type. He can be mousy and small and lacking confidence, but those things alone don’t make him interesting to me.
Would he be interesting if he had a stutter? If he was a virgin? If he wasn’t a virgin? Is studying nuclear physics?
Maybe I’m approaching it wrong and it would be better to put him in some challenging situations. He’s eating something on the train platform and gets food on his shirt. Getting on the train, he steps on mud. Walking through the train, someone spills their coffee on him. His reaction to all of that could be interesting maybe and then by the time he meets up with hot guy, he’s ready to explode. Oh, and maybe to heat things up, he’s super super horny before he gets on the train and his emotions are high.
Think I just rubber ducked myself there
My ideas aside, I’d love to hear thoughts and ideas from anyone else about what makes a character interesting. Do you try to make your main character interesting in your stories? How do you do that?