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  • Nicole Meier

How to Uplevel Characters in Your Novel

The #1 mistake I see novel writers making in their drafts (sometimes this means me!) is relying TOO HEAVILY on... ⁠ ⁠


Dialogue⁠ ⁠

Physical reaction⁠ ⁠

Plot points⁠ ⁠


...in an effort to convey a character's inner journey. ⁠ ⁠


What readers really want is to feel connected, build empathy and have a reason to root for your protagonist. ⁠If readers are held on the surface too much (hello, pages of nothing but dialogue), they don't have a chance to go deeper.⁠ ⁠


To better achieve that connection between your reader and your novel's protagonist, try adding these three elements:


Give each reader a distinct voice. Consider their unique point of view and the world around them.


Include agency. Is your protagonist letting the plot happen to them, or are they making active decisions along the way?


Add interiority. Inner thoughts, reactions and struggles help lend insight and allow readers into your character's head.



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