There are books which allure the readers with bright covers and intriguing titles, but bore to death from the first several pages. There are stories, written by absolutely unknown writers, which grab the attention and never let the readers go until the last page is turned. What is the secret of turning a book into a bestseller? How to encourage the readers to keep it on their writing table or on the bedside table? How is it possible to catch the readers’ attention and make them feel sorry, happy, ashamed or terrified? All that can be done only if the author knows how to create interesting characters.
The readers will never sympathize with a personage that is too perfect, too refined or too reserved. If a character has no specific interests, no bright emotions, no passion to some activities or people, it is doubtful that it will be interesting to follow how he behaves or reacts to something. Furthermore, if you simply describe the character without actually showing his attitude, it will bore the readers to death. You can say that the old lady is absolutely crazy about cats, but it will be just a common sentence that cannot touch the readers. However, if you tell a few short anecdotes related to this overwhelming love to cats, some of the readers will smile, some of them will be even indignant about the fact that a cat can be kissed or stroked all day long. The most important thing is to make the readers feel that the character behaves like a real person, not a fictional puppet.
Furthermore, do not make everything look only as white or black. There are different hues of colors; moreover, they can merge and change with time. The same happens with the characters of the books. If they are the same throughout the whole story, if their thoughts, opinions and ideas stay absolutely identical, it will be tiresome to follow the plot without any development in the characters. Try to think about yourself or your friends for a while. What has changed in the course of the last five or ten years? Have you changed your interests, likes, dislikes, attachments or passions? Sure, you kept some of them, while the others are forever gone. The same is supposed to happen to the fictional characters; otherwise, they will be devitalized, deprived of energy and absolutely boring.
The problem remains: the authors try to understand how to create interesting characters and create some types of guys that are likeable and related to the readers, but again they come with average personages that make everybody yawn. One wants to be entertained, engaged, inspired or even scared to get the string emotions one lacks in real life. A flat character cannot incite such feelings, and the book becomes a complete failure.
What are the main features of a boring personage?
– Lack of distinct bright personality. Sometimes a character is so plain, that it is just impossible to choose at least a few adjectives that can describe him or her.
– No flaws. A character cannot overcome obstacles get into conflicts of he or she is flawless. And if they cannot, will there be any interest in the readers? Definitely, no!
– No ambitions, dreams or goals. The readers can be interested only if the stakes are high, and if the character has to fight, resolve problems and make mistakes on the way to something worth struggling for.
– Absolute success. No failures are boring! That is a fundamental truth. A boring character will always achieve what he or she wants, but that makes the readers wonder why they should follow this perfect way to happiness. If the challenge level is low, there are no accidental failures. Absolutely luck does not seem to be real, so it not interesting even in the books.
– No action. A passive character does not solve the problems unless he is forced to. What can be more boring than continuous complaining?
Not every writer knows how to create interesting characters; so, it is not a rare thing to have a book with a nice plot but absolutely boring personages. It is not a difficult thing to create a dull one, but is it worth it? Believe me, nobody will read a flat story of gloom-buckets!