Quick Tip: Do characters’ actions arise from their needs?

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook

When editing drafts of your manuscript, examine how your characters’ motivations are presented as the story unfolds.

Do their actions and decisions arise from those needs? If not, readers won’t view them as realistic because the characters do what the author wants them to do.

Instead, the characters should behave like real people with those actual desires and goals. Because the characters are intrinsically motivated rather than the author’s puppets, they will be independent and hence “real.”