Make human characters human

You want to write?

Want to write an alien, a rabbit, a horse, a sentient city, a monstrous automobile, an atom of hydrogen or the Prince of the Undead? Ignore this. I’m not talking to you.

Want to write a drug-dealer, a crack whore, a ninja, a hard-boiled cop, a nabob, a tiffin-wallah, the Princess of Siam, the dark lord’s chosen one, a paranoid schizophrenic, the projection of a paranoid schizophrenic, a Founding Father, a doughty Highlander, a sadistic redcoat, a bred-from-birth fighter, a eunuch, a dwarf, a murderer, a thief, a priest, a vestal virgin, or a vampire-hunter? Listen up.

Make your character as badass as you want, but make that character human.

Make that character laugh. Tell jokes. Tell stories. Read stories. Make things. Enjoy food. Better her domestic arrangements. Fuck. Listen to music. Smile at children.

Not all these things necessarily, but for Og’s sake, at least one.

Make your character human. Human beings need to do some of these things at least some of the time, or they aren’t human. And they aren’t convincing characters.

That’s all I had to say.


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