Posted by: nancycurteman | January 10, 2014

6 Ways to Make Your Characters Tap Into the Emotions of Your Readers

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th-3Readers enjoy characters with whom they can relate on a personal, emotional level. Your character hits home when a reader says something like, “Yeah, I’ve felt that way,” or “Me, too.” Keep in mind that most people don’t have a lot of wild and wooly adventure in their lives so you need to provide small, everyday character concerns that your readers encounter at one time or another. Here are 5 ways to make your characters tap into the emotions of your readers. I’ve added a few simple examples for you to consider.

 Give them foibles:
• He’s always late.
• She’s disorganized.
• He can’t help being curious or as his friends say, “snoopy.”
• She always has to be right, first, best, or smartest.

 Give then problems:
• I have directionality issues and have trouble finding my way without my GPS.
• The babysitter’s late and I have to get to work.
• I never have enough time to…

 Give them worries:
• How will I ever fill the shoes of that fantastic actor?
• I know I’ll have to swallow a hundred times during the speech.
• What if no one shows up for the party, performance, picnic, or program?
• I have to be careful what I say around her father. He already thinks I’m not good enough for her.

 Give them lack of confidence:
• They won’t want me on the team because I’m too short.
• I never look as attractive as the women at my job.
• I’ll never be as good a cook as his mother.

 Give them hopes:
• I just need to practice a little more and maybe they’ll choose me.
• If I could like win the lottery or something, I could get out of this dump and start a new life.
• I’ve worked all my life to build up this business for my son to take over.
• If I lose weight he’ll love me again.

 Give them failures:
• Why did I make such a dumb remark right in front of the boss.
• I can’t believe my Thanksgiving turkey got so overcooked it fell apart before I got it to the table.
• I took piano lessons, tennis lessons, skiing lessons, guitar lessons—I couldn’t master any of them.

Readers can relate to small concerns. While your characters are involved in their exciting adventures, give them some everyday human issues to deal with.

More Writing Tips:

Secret Pasts Make Sympathetic Story Characters

Perfect Characters are Paper Characters

Developing Characters is No Mystery


  1. Great advice given


    • Hi Caroline, I hope you find the suggestions useful.


      • I will definitely use it. I would appreciate if you can check out my blogs and give me some feedback


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