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How to get readers to care about your characters

In the short video below by screenwriter and director, John Truby, he says one of the biggest mistakes writers make is how they create their characters.

Truby says most writers create characters by making them as detailed as possible. We’ve all heard this advice, right? Make your characters detailed, use all five senses, etc.

But Truby says having detailed characters does NOT make your audience care about your characters.

What makes them care is discovering two things:

1) what is the character’s fundamental weakness — their fundamental flaw?

2) what is the character’s story goal?

Truby says the best stories will show the character going after their goal, which will then make them deal with their greatest internal weakness.

To hear what else Truby has to say about creating great characters, watch his video below and check out some of his other videos:

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on The parasite guy and commented:
    A neat little interview for any writers out there.

    April 17, 2014
  2. OMG! So true! What an amazingly basic and yet powerful principle. Thanks for sharing!

    April 17, 2014
  3. Even if you like adding complex details yo your characters, those feel like compelling core elements to build a character around.

    April 18, 2014
    • Yes, I don’t think he’s saying don’t add character details, etc. but make sure that’s not all we do. I’m embarrassed at how often that’s what I think about when I think about building characters. What a paradigm shift! 🙂

      April 18, 2014

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