Believable Characters and How to Write Them

Marisa Mohi
6 min readNov 8, 2023

Writing believable characters is always a writer’s goal. But as the characters shift and change through the drafting process, it can be hard to know if you’ve done it right.

The first draft is always full of good intentions. But by the end, everything has shifted from an idea shape into a story shape. And sometimes that means you’ve found some plot holes or flat characters.

As drafting continues, the characters usually strengthen, but that doesn’t mean they all become believable characters. Personally, I always have at least one character that’s nearly impossible for me to identify with. And that’s the character that usually takes the most work to turn from a stock archetype to something that feels real.

Writing believable characters takes time and care, and these tips will help you create realistic characters in your fiction.

How to Write Realistic Characters

There’s no one way to write realistic characters.

(I know that everyone who has read this blog before gets so tired of me saying that there’s not one correct way. But it’s true!)

And it’s worth noting that a believable character to me may be completely unbelievable to you. I won’t get too far into this discussion, but I will say that there…

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Marisa Mohi

Writer and Tarot Reader. Fueled by black coffee and notebooks with thick paper. https://marisamohi.com