5 things to do when you don’t connect with your characters

Characters. Our novels would be nothing without them, just a bunch of trees and abandoned neighborhoods and castles. There would be no plot and hence no story and hence no novel.

We need characters. But more importantly we need fleshed out, amazing, multi-dimensional characters who jump off the page with pzazz and splendor.

Yeah. That’s a lot to live up to.

This is most easily accomplished when the author (you) connects with the characters. Which happens a lot. And it’s great as the characters come alive, grab your plot, and throw it away and run off to do their own thing. (actually, it’s not so great who am I kidding).

But then there are those characters that are just…nothing. They are about as interesting as a talking piece of cardboard. Actually worse because a talking piece of cardboard would be very scary. More like a paper towel. Flat and lifeless, blow in any direction by the currents of the world.

Readers don’t want that, writers don’t want that, what is to be done???


Get rid of that character. 

Do you really need them? Are they just weighing down your life and making it miserable and bland for everyone? DUMP THEM.

Analyse if the character is actually important to the story or  if they are just excessive and taking up space. This is by far the easiest thing…you just write them out of the story! WRITE THEM FROM EXISTENCE.


Keep the role, new character. 

So the “flat, cardboard, potato” character has an important role to fill. You need him/her in the story. BUT, it’s the role that you need, not that specific character.

Make up a new one, a better one!!!


Character questions and sheets here I come.

Your character is important. Maybe they are the sidekick or even the MC. But they’re a potato and they need some seasoning.

I can’t tell you how many characters questions, sheets, charts, and what have you there are out there to help you develop your characters. Just go on pinterest and you will find everything you ever needed (and probably some stuff that you didn’t).

But here’s the things about the “100 questions about your characters to answer” things…

I. Hate. Them. All.

But that’s just me.

Writing out “twenty things that your reader doesn’t know about your character” makes me what to poke me eyes out. BORING.

But hey! Whatever sinks your ship-*cough* I mean “floats your boat”.


Character folding.

This is something I heard about from…well someone. Probably some blogger out there so I credit this to them, whomever and wherever they are.

Character folding means taking two different characters and making them into one person. This helps you have a smaller cast, and also makes the characters more dynamic (so this is really helpful if you have more than one potato).

Example: Instead of having the Boss and the Ex-Wife, the Boss is the Ex-Wife, ramping your tension and conflict.

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In other news….and I do have news *drumroll*


I will talk about this…next blog maybe???

Are YOU doing Nanowrimo???

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5 responses to “5 things to do when you don’t connect with your characters”

  1. I don’t like the character sheets. Although I do keep character descriptions. Mostly so my blond doesn’t turn into a brunette half-way through the book.


  2. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this great post from Bernadette Benda’s blog on how to connect with your characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! Brutally honest in parts, and very useful.
    I’m not doing NaNo, because I’m focusing on editing my current novel, as well as uni and work, but I am very excited to follow everyone’s NaNo journeys! Best of luck x


  4. Glad you enjoyed it!! Good luck on editing!!! :D


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