Tips for Gaining Distance from a Character You Love

Loving a character too much can cause issues with clarity in your novel due to a lack of distance between yourself and the character. In this video I go over the signs that you have a strong attachment to your character and writing tips and tricks that you can try right now to improve your novel and overcome this potential issue.



How can you tell if you are too close to a character in your novel:


1. You just know you love them and can’t easily distance yourself.

2. Beta readers can’t connect to, don’t like, or don’t understand your character.

3. You feel like something is missing from scenes or emotions aren’t hitting the way you want them to.

4. You over justify their flaws by providing too much backstory or explanations for “bad” behaviors/actions.


Solutions/activities to try:


1. Ask beta readers specific but non-leading questions about their impressions of the character.

2. Make sure you’re conveying the emotional beats of the scene (motivation behind goal, feeling about obstacle, feeling/reasoning behind their response to obstacle).

3. Give the character a trait, flaw, motivation, or belief you don’t relate to.

4. Fall in love with a different/new character to help create some distance.

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