As a writer, it can be easy to fall into the trap of making characters that all seem a bit the same. We can be tempted to create a character based on what we think makes them relatable, or simply because they fit into some preconceived idea of a normal human being. But in order to create a memorable character that readers will care about, they need to be unique.
The best way to make a character stand out is by giving them quirks. These can be anything from a certain facial expression or gesture, to a specific habit that defines them. For instance, if a character repeatedly runs their fingers through their hair or can’t help but jingle their keys, these little details give the reader something to latch onto and associate with that person.
Another way to make a character unique is by giving them interesting hobbies or interests. People’s hobbies define them, so if you know your characters have unusual hobbies, it can tell you a lot about their personalities and their outlook on life. For example, if a character is obsessed with baking cakes, it’s likely they are very detail-oriented. This can be a sign of their analytical personality, or it could indicate that they are a perfectionist.
Providing a backstory to your characters can also help make them unique. If a character has an unusual or tragic past, it can help explain their actions and reactions to situations. It can even be used as a way to distinguish a character from their peers. For example, the Joker has a very distinct style that sets him apart from his friends and peers, and this helps him stand out from other villains.
In addition to a background story, conflict and basic social interactions can also be great ways to make your character stand out from the crowd. If a character is battling an illness, or they are surrounded by people who have different prejudices or beliefs to their own, it can give them a sense of uniqueness and likability.
A final way to make your character stand out is by giving them unique skills or knowledge. This can be something that they learned from their experiences, or it could be a gift or talent that they were born with. For example, a character who has an exceptional ability with a bow and arrow is not only unique in their skill level but also because of the circumstances in which they learned it.
In a crowded fiction marketplace, it is important to have some uniqueness about your characters in order to attract readers and make them stick in their minds. There are many ways to do this, including giving them quirks, using shape language, and providing an interesting backstory or setting. If you can make a character unique in these ways, then they will be more likable and memorable. This will ensure that your characters stay with readers after they finish the book.