A Story’s Spine

This is the MAIN part to your story.

You can NOT, I repeat, can NOT skip over this.

Your character needs to be alive, breathing, REAL.

A lot of aspiring writers I talk to tell me that they figure out the plot of the book, the setting, etc. before they find a character.

Uh, no. That is NOT good.

I’m not criticizing, but if you really think about it, your character is the most important aspect of the book. You need to learn what would affect your character the most, what kind of opposition or trial would wreak havoc in their lives.

‘Cause your character builds the book. You write the book ON the character. Your whole plot is focused on your character.

This is not something that you can kinda just toss in there and hope for the best.

First, choose a gender (wow, profound, right).

Second, write down their personality: funny, sarcastic, depressed, serious, etc.

Third, their appearance. (Don’t stress about this, but make it pop)

Fourth, any special thing about them that would jump out at you.

There ya go. There is half of your book.

Okay, I was being nice. That’s your ENTIRE book.

The reason I’m saying this is because when you read a book, all the twists and turns are written in such a way as to be something that would personally affect the main character.

So if the character is naturally trusting of people and a close friend betrays him/her, that will affect him/her COMPLETELY. It has to be directed toward what makes your character human.

So yeah. This was a little bit of a “jump in your face and yell at your horrible mistakes” kinda thing. (because, ya know, I never make ANY mistakes in writing. Like choosing a character, then switching him in the middle of the book…never happened.)


Choose your character wisely and carefully. Build your book on what makes them who they are.

-Julia H.

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