Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest post: Welcome Sean McCartney!

Making Characters Believable

I want to thank Jael for allowing me to guest post today. My name is Sean McCartney and I am the author of the new young adult action adventure novel, The Treasure Hunters Club: Secrets of the Magical Medallions. If you get a chance you can check out my web site at for more about me and the series.

I have been at different writing conferences over the last year and one question always comes up and it is how to make characters believable in a fiction story?

It is actually easier than you might imagine. Before I start any story I want to have my characters in place so I create a character chart. This is basically the characters life up until the moment the story begins. I may not use all or any of the information for the story but it is important that I know about them inside and out.

How do I do this? By simply thinking of people I have known in the past and currently know and put their good points and bad points down on a sheet of paper and pick and choose the ones I want a certain character to have.

I teach Social Studies to sixth graders and I also am in charge of an advanced writing class that deals with writing novels. I always tell my students to think of their friends first and take what you like about them and that is how you start a character. What I think makes characters interesting, however, are their faults. They make a character unique and easier to connect with readers.

The background of a character is vitality important in showing their believability. What in the characters past allows them to overcome what is going to happen to them? What in their background allows them to persevere?

I think the easiest characters to write and sometimes the most fun are the bad guys. They get to break the rules and try and short cut their way to a goal. What is important to achieve is worthy adversaries among your characters. They have to be able to challenge one another to be better and sometimes worse as they strive for whatever goal they have.

I hope this gives many of you a basic idea of how characters are created and made believable.

I look forward to many of you reading The Treasure Hunters Club: Secrets of the Magical Medallions and let me know what you think of the story.

Sean Paul McCartney (he’s not related to the Beatle) was born in 1971. He graduated from Alfred University in upstate New York with a Bachelor’s in Communications in 1993. From there he played two exciting season traveling around the world with the Washington Generals playing against the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. In 1996 Sean earned his Masters in Education and embarked on a career as a teacher. He is employed by Plain Local Schools in Canton , OH. The first book in the series The Treasure Hunters Club: Secrets of the Magical Medallions introduces the four teens Tommy Reed, Jackson Miller, Shannon McDougal and Chris Henderson. The series is a cross between The Hardy Boys and Indiana Jones with a touch of National Treasure. You can visit Sean’s web site at or e-mail him at Visit his The Treasure Hunters Club: Secrets of the Magic Medallions Facebook Fan Page by clicking here!

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