LB’S NOTE: One of our fave TV writers-illustrators-screenwriters-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, shows us how to write deeper characters and in the process reveals how very deep her own character is.
by Stephanie Bourbon
…This week I’m talking about when you get that dreaded feedback that goes something like “I couldn’t connect with the characters” or “she/he wasn’t believable” or “I just didn’t care.” And, there’s more too but you get the point.
Your story is fine, but the reader, or agent, or editor, just couldn’t connect.
What do you need to do to fix it?
If the feedback is that they couldn’t connect or care about the characters, then you need to do more work there.
Revisions like this can seem impossible and your gut may be saying to just keep sending it out to others until someone likes it. I’ve seen writers do this and after two years the agent who took a chance couldn’t sell the work and then drops them and they are right back where they started.
I want to save you time and heartache.
There could be many reasons that this is the feedback you are getting.
1. Your characters are living on the surface
2. Your dialogue isn’t strong
3. Your characters wants/needs and goals aren’t present
4. Your plotting and story arcs are nonexistent (yes some character problems go back to storytelling basics)
…Let’s start with these because they are the most common.
YOUR CHARACTER LIVES ON THE SURFACE
This means that you haven’t gone deep enough, and hey, I know that it sucks hearing that and it’s like vaguebooking but it’s a real thing. When you aren’t going deep enough it is because you yourself don’t understand the psychology of your characters….