Defining Character Traits for Fiction Novels When it comes to writing a novel, it takes more than plot. You have to have relatable characters, which means they should not be perfect, and they should not conform to the standard. This means that you do not want to create the perfect “good” character, and you do not want to create a 100 percent evil character. Instead, you should strive for a balance. A good character can be flawed, and an evil character can have some good traits. For these reasons, it’s important to define positive and negative character traits either prior to writing the novel or at some point during the writing process.


  Types of Character Traits

  Character traits can fall into many different categories, including physical, emotional and psychological. The traits you choose may depend on     the type of character you are creating or the overall theme of your fiction novel.

Physical Traits

The physical traits of your characters include their height, eye color, hair color, tattoos and body modifications, but you can go beyond this and give your characters certain physical defects, like one limb shorter than the other, a defined limp from an old injury and even ailments that limit their physical movements. Don’t be afraid to give your characters physical flaws or even a chronic illness or condition because they can enhance the appeal of the book, deepen the writing and even contribute to the subplots or main plot.

Emotional Traits

When we think of emotions, we tend to think of the basics, happy, sad, angry, in love and jealous or greedy. While these are a good start, don’t forget about the lesser tackled emotions and emotional malfunctions, including being impulsive, having anger management disorders, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and even drug and alcohol dependency. How a character deals with or doesn’t deal with their emotional hang-ups can make for great writing. For example, if your character has a drug addiction, like Avia, in AVIA I – Thunderstorms and .45s, getting that next fix may be just as important to your character as solving or committing the crime and create a conflicting duality in goals and actions that can lead to interesting plot twists.



Psychological Traits

Your character’s psychological traits make up his or her personality. This of these as they relate to the Meijer Briggs Personality test. These are the traits that make your character tick, define how they relate to others and can even impact actions. The Meijer Briggs personality test defines 16 different types of personalities. For example, writers tend to be introverts. They like to be left alone with their thoughts. For that reason, most writers fall under INTJ (The Mastermind), INFP (The Idealist) and ISFP (The Composer). Of course, this doesn’t mean that your introverted self or character can’t have moments of extroversion, but it is something to keep in mind because extroversion for an introverted person or character leads to exhaustion and a need to “recharge” alone. Knowing your characters personality type can define the actions your characters takes when confronted with challenges or problems and greatly enhance the depth and breadth of your character development and new novel.


Read More from Stacey Carroll


AVIA2FUllCVerADAVIA ii: Bullets and Betrayal Kindle Edition


Greg Locke is the detective who thinks he can put away both Avia and Benton in the next book in the series Avia II Bullets and Betrayal. These two are very close to going to jail or going on vacation to Hawaii when their heist goes bad. They are stuck in a life of crime, and they cannot seem to get out. Thriller author Stacey Carroll tugs you through all the twists and turns of these two and their lives while showing you that crime can pay in the worst ways.

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