You can still create a well-written, meaningful piece of fiction without a large and complex narrative, but you can't have a good story without well-built and realistic characters to drive it. The people in your story must be multi dimensional, have their own unique histories and interests, make mistakes and most importantly, appear to be just like somebody you could meet in real life. Here are some tips on how to make your characters as believable as possible.
Watch and understand people
|Observe, always observe|
It is not always necessary for your characters to be likeableObviously this goes without saying if your character is a serial killer or similar, but even if not, remember your main character doesn't always have to be likeable, nor do they always have to do the right thing. We meet people we dislike all the time in everyday life. We are all human and make mistakes, and it is good to reflect this in your writing. Stories with an unlikeable protagonist(s) can sometimes provide a more interesting narrative, and give the reader a thought-provoking experience.
Know your charactersWrite extensively, for your own use, about your characters history, their best and worst traits, even little things that might seem silly - their favourite foods, for example! Create this, memorise it, get to know your characters and let this knowledge drive you as you lead them through the story. You don't have to share the small details, or even their history if you don't want to - how much you tell your reader about them is up to you, and sometimes it can be more effective to keep details about the character secret. Know your characters inside out and let that knowledge drive them.
|Keep that eye open!|