This is Sarah. Sarah is a tall blonde biker chick who wears black leather and a ridiculously bright bum bag. This bum bag makes me very happy, and I started taking pictures of it. I even suggested it needs its own photo album.
Now, when she travels, Sarah takes pictures of the bum bag on the beach, or on the mantle of a fireplace in a Victorian restaurant. She calls her photo collection, “Fanny Pack Adventures.” So whenever the people I ride with are supposed to be getting on our bikes to go, Sarah might be missing, taking pictures, and the road captain points at me. “You started this.”
I tell him, “You’re welcome.”
For me, this bum bag symbolizes the fun writers can have playing with a unique quality or trait that brings a character to life for our readers. So while it’s okay to start with a stereotype, don’t stop there.
- Add a twist that surprises the reader.
- Give them a backstory that fits the twist.
- Make their motivations connect to the twist.
- Have the twist challenge other characters.
Sarah is no average biker. She’s better because she’s real. And our characters should be too.
About this post: Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.