7 Essential Things To Remember About Very Important Characters


I think it’s a good idea for authors to know as much as possible about VICs. Even if you never use all the information, you will know them better than you know yourself. I suggest you complete a good character biography template, like the one we use on our Writers Write course, or create your own.

Seven ways to ensure you give VICs the attention they deserve

  1. Make them powerful enough to make choices.
  2. Make them the centre of attention. Even if they aren’t in a scene, the other characters should talk about them or think about them.
  3. They must make frequent long appearances throughout your book. If they don’t, you may have cast a character incorrectly.
  4. Make their actions and decisions memorable. As VICs, they are responsible for inciting actions or responding to events.
  5. Make the reader empathetic towards them. Your reader does not have to like them, but they need to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
  6. Make these characters viewpoint characters. Readers like to see the story through their eyes.
  7. Make sure they are worthy opponents for each other. If you want to create a compelling, memorable protagonist, you need a strong, three-dimensional antagonist. (Read 10 Essential Tips for Creating Antagonists)

If you do this, you will probably find that it’s easier to write your book. You won’t be giving prime time to supporting characters and you’ll be concentrating on the plot, not the sub-plots.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:
  1. A Fabulous Resource for Writers – 350 Character Traits
  2. The Sympathy Vote – How To Get Your Reader To Identify With An Unsympathetic Character
  3. A Tense Situation – Five Tips To Help You Write A Gripping Read

This article has 1 comment

  1. Brian Thompson

    Great advice! Always looking to sharpen my craft and this helps. Hope you don’t mind, but I reposted on my blog.

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