How to write convincing characters Characterisation - the task of building characters - isn't easy. But if you're struggling to build characters with real life and vigour, here is our very own patented technique. If you haven't yet started your book, then work on the exercise below before you start. If you have started, but think that maybe you started prematurely, then back up, do the exercise and then look back over your existing work. Oh, and don't feel patronised at being given exercises. Learning to know your characters Strong characterisation is based on knowledge. The Ultimate Character Builder Begin with a blank sheet (or screen). You should aim to cover at least five pages with this exercise. The less central a character is to your book, the less you need to know him/her. And the exercise will work. Checking your work Once you've got a fair way into your writing (say 5 to 10,000 words), then look back at it. Even genre fiction needs swiftly drawn, believable characters.