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Create Memorable Characters with ChatGPT

complex characters in a novel

Complex yet relatable characters are just a few prompts away.

When it comes to writing fiction, your plot may be what drives the story forward, but it’s your characters who will capture your readers’ hearts and imagination. Without a relatable and complex cast, a story can fall flat and fail to leave a lasting impression.

Luckily, ChatGPT is a great tool for creating more fully realized and engaging characters. In this article, I’ll outline a few characteristics that make a character interesting and how I use ChatGPT to develop these characteristics in my own fictional characters.

What Makes a Character Compelling?

So, what is it that makes a character compelling? Many factors contribute to a character’s appeal, such as authenticity, growth, backstory, and appeal. These are all helpful to think about as you develop characters. But there are five essentials to every memorable character that I like to focus on when working on fiction: complexity, relatability, growth, motivation, and conflict.

Let’s see how we can use ChatGPT to develop our characters using each of these elements.

Image: Midjourney

Complexity

Focusing on complexity as you develop a character allows you to create a character who is multi-dimensional. Flaws, strengths, and a unique personality all make a character stand out in the reader’s mind.

Use ChatGPT to develop unique personality traits for your characters by asking for help creating elements like backstory, upbringing, and physical or mental quirks. For example, you could use prompts like the following to brainstorm realistic problems for your character.

“I’m writing a male character who is struggling with addiction. What are some realistic experiences he might have had that could have led him to this point?”

“My character is a young woman who grew up in a small town. What are some unique personality traits that she might have based on her background?”

Relatability

You want your readers to empathize with your character’s struggles and experiences. To empathize so much that they actually feel what the character might be feeling. This doesn’t mean the character has to be exactly like the reader, but they should have qualities and experiences that readers can understand and connect with. Use ChatGPT to brainstorm ways to make your characters more relatable by using prompts like these:

“I want my character to be relatable to readers who have experienced anxiety. What personality traits or experiences could she have that would make her more relatable to these readers?”

“My character is a teenager who is struggling with identity issues. What personality traits or experiences could she have that would make her more relatable to readers who have gone through similar struggles?”

Growth

An interesting character also grows and changes over the course of a story, learning from experiences and becoming a different person by the end. This may not be so important depending on your genre, but even the most externally motivated genres like action and thrillers should have at least some character growth, unless you want readers to forget your characters as soon as they put the book down. Try some of the following prompts to think through the growth your characters might be capable of.

“I want my character to go through a transformative experience that changes her perspective on life. What are some unique experiences or challenges she could face that would push her out of her comfort zone and lead to personal growth?”

“My character is a successful businessperson who has always put her career first. What obstacles or setbacks could she face that would force her to reevaluate her priorities and grow as a person?”

science fiction characters
Image: Midjourney

Motivation

Motivation is arguably the most important of all for character development. A memorable character has clear motivations for their actions and choices. And these motivations are grounded in their backstory and personality and unique to them. Their actions should make sense based on who they are and what they want. Here are a few examples of prompts that can help with the process of creating motivation, especially in the brainstorming stages of a project.

“My character is a detective who is investigating a murder. What are some realistic motivations she could have for wanting to solve the case?”

“My character is a young woman who is torn between two love interests. What are some realistic motivations she could have for choosing one over the other?”

Conflict

Finally, an interesting character faces internal and external conflicts that create tension and drive the plot forward. The way your characters handle physical, emotional, or moral conflicts should be unique to that characters. They should challenge the character and force him or her to make tough choices. Use ChatGPT to brainstorm conflict that is specific to your character, as well as to think through how a particular character might respond to a certain conflict.

“I want to create a conflict between two characters who are both striving for the same goal. What are some unique and unexpected obstacles they could face?”

“My character is a musician who is struggling to make it in the music industry. What conflicts could she face with her bandmates, fans, or other musicians that would challenge her and force her to grow?”

“My character is a scientist who is working on a groundbreaking discovery. What conflicts could she face with her colleagues, competitors, or the public as she tries to bring her discovery to light?”

By focusing on complexity, relatability, growth, motivation, and conflict, you can create characters that stick in the mind of your reader. And with the help of ChatGPT, it’s possible to generate better ideas with more depth and in much less time than it would take to do it alone. Try using ChatGPT to develop your characters with prompts similar to the ones outlined above and watch your characters come to life on the page!


ChatGPT for Fiction Writing by Nova Leigh cover

If you’re interested in learning more about developing complex and realistic characters for fiction, check out my book ChatGPT for Fiction Writing.

“Only actionable book I have ever read in kindle.” – Amazon Reviewer

You know ChatGPT can write email campaigns and website copy. But what if I told you it could also help you write clever plot twists, breathtaking description, and witty dialog?

Even more importantly, what if it could help you get that manuscript finished and sold?

In ChatGPT for Fiction Writing, Amazon bestselling author Nova Leigh shows you it can do these things and much more. Using dozens of real examples and over 100 prompts that you can use to get started immediately, she offers easy-to-understand instructions for using ChatGPT for every step of the fiction writing process. You will learn how to:

Brainstorm plot points, twists, character traits, dialog and more

Use a variety of well-known formulas to create detailed outlines

Develop realistic characters with backstory, goals, and motivations

Research for any type of fiction

Put it all together in drafts that shine

Create effective back of book copy, marketing materials, social media posts, newsletter content and more to get your stories sold

Whether you write urban fantasy, clean romance, thrillers, space opera, realistic historical fiction, or something in between, ChatGPT is a game-changer. Make sure you know how to use this incredible technology to create great fiction. Get your copy of ChatGPT for Fiction Writing now and start writing better fiction faster!

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