Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing 101: Why Your Characters Need a Hobby

When the characters in your book feel more like real people, it’s a lot easier for readers to relate to them. That makes it a lot easier for readers to like your books. It sounds like a simple formula, but it’s not. That’s why it works to use little tricks throughout your books to humanize characters. This is why your characters need a hobby.

Humanizing Your Characters

All of your characters should be three-dimensional. That means they have hopes, dreams, fears, regrets, habits...and yes, hobbies. The more of this kind of everyday stuff you can integrate into your character, the more real they will feel. But you can’t give a character a hobby just for the sake of doing it. Everything you put in your book should be in there for a reason, and that includes the hobby that you humanize your character with.

Ideally, any hobby your character has will reveal something about that character or relate to the story in some way. A character who lives near the ocean, for example, may build ships in a bottle. A character who likes to read is identifiable to your readers, because they now have something in common. If you can integrate the hobby into the plot, even better. Maybe your character likes to bake cookies in the first chapter. Later in the book, the character bakes something for the love interest and thus captures their heart.

No matter how you use your character’s hobby, put one into the book to make the character more relatable and the story more believable. After all, lots of people have hobbies. Shouldn’t fictional characters have them as well?

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