When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described his idea of the dynamic separation of good and evil in every one of us, he said: “This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.”
What if we used this as a guideline to create complex, rich characters? All of our characters should embody a wound or short-falling, even our beloved heroes. For believable characters performing believable acts, they need to be dynamic, changing or capable of change, even if they don’t experience character growth.
What events or natural tendencies frame your characters’ personalities? The reader doesn’t need to know their detailed bios, but you do. After you spend time developing their backstories, you’ll be able to craft realistic characters who not only jump off the page, but either jog laps around the room or dash upstairs to steal your jewelry.
Photo credit – The picture is attributed to Evstafiev.