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Creating Believable Characters

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

The art of writing a book is daunting. And as a wandering, seat-of-my-pants novelist, it can be even more overwhelming. Though I long for more organization, I do enjoy the freedom of my characters taking me on an adventure as I begin their story.

A perfect balance of the two dominant styles, planners and pantsers, would aid me greatly in creating future novels. The process would be beautiful, faster, and give me more direction.

I’m working on it.

Authors of all writing styles will agree that creating well-developed characters is crucial and if not done with careful consideration, you, the readers won’t care or sympathize with them and will most likely stop reading.

And no author wants that.

In my recent release, Shattered Treasure, I used ties to my family when creating the two key characters, Addison Morgan and Logan Tant.

My son is a police officer, and that led me to craft Logan into this position. My daughter-in-law is an elementary school teacher, and what a perfect fit for Addison’s character.

With the respect I have for those employed in these positions, it made choosing the careers for my protagonists even more special.

As a bonus, I gleaned valuable information from them both that made my characters more authentic.

Multiple characteristics stem from the personality traits a police officer may possess, and that presented many opportunities for conflict within this novel.

That proved true as well with an elementary school teacher. Working with small children requires a gentleness, and I enjoyed incorporating this into my female character’s behaviors.

Our family has been blessed with a beautiful, sweet daughter-in-law, and a son who places his life at risk every day he goes to work on the street. I have an awesome shirt that I’m not allowed to wear in public. It says this...

Most people wait a lifetime to meet a hero. I raised mine.

There were other opportunities I wanted to use from our two boys, and I took full advantage.

If you know anything about me, you know how much I love baseball.

Because my characters are in their senior year of college, I couldn’t help it, I had to incorporate “America’s Favorite Pastime” into their story. Each fragment I used throughout this novel were some of my favorite and easiest parts to write.

Brooklyn, my daughter, has often made the comment “My childhood” as we drive by our local sports complex. Our family spent years and many hours on the ball field. We have made wonderful memories with both of our sons playing and, yes, even my daughter agrees.

We all miss those days.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about my family and how blessed I am to use some of their experiences through my characters.

What are some of your favorite character’s hobbies or occupations that you enjoy reading?

Beware … I’m a writer. Anything you do or say may be used in a story.

Have a blessed June,

Cindy Patterson


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