An excerpt from my script review for Hitman’s Bodyguard which will be available 09/04/17:
3.) Quality of Characters
We mention it a lot on this site, but the more connections your characters have, the better your story.
It may be a sort of overkill to some of our faithful readers, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Bryce and Kiernan are both professionals, and borderline the best at what they do.
Unfortunately for them, but in the story’s favor, they happen to be the best at two careers that directly conflict with one another.
That’s great drama right there!
On top of that, and a pretty genius move, they’ve crossed paths in the past, and don’t like each other because of it.
Think about that…we could have just had them be two guys at odds based on morality, but instead, one of them has shot at and tried to kill the other in the past!
The beauty of connecting your characters is that it makes them come alive, because you’re building a history that makes them feel like real people to us.
(Audiences care what happens to real people!)
It’s not really that hard to do, and usually accomplished with a simple line of dialogue…
“Someone must have told them about my little maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab.”
A single line like that makes characters three dimensional, and that’s something readers want.
In addition to their polar opposite professions, there’s a whole love theme that contrast the two as well.
Both know their line of work makes life short, and where Kiernan chooses to embrace and enjoy his time by loving Janet, Bryce is afraid to let Amelia get too close, worried that there will come a time when he doesn’t come back to her.
These philosophical differences not only build tension, but are another example of building your characters up so they feel “real”.
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