A Moment With…Rob Pateman

Rob Pateman (Photo Paul Stuart)

Rob Pateman (Photo Paul Stuart)

Author, Rob Pateman is with us today (day 24 of NaNoWriMo,) to talk about creating believeable characters.

The grit in the oyster cell makes the pearl – and it’s the friction between the antagonist and the protagonist that lies at the heart of a good book.

The conflict between them drives the narrative, so establish early on what’s at stake for both characters. It could be life or death, financial ruin, the moral high ground, the end of civilisation as we know it, property, family happiness or something more tenuous, like love or truth.

With the basic tension set up, your characters’ personalities, attitudes, beliefs, and life circumstances will begin to follow. One might be demure, conventional, social and funny. The other more calculating, secretive and moody. And the social and funny one might not necessarily be your protagonist!

People aren’t all black and white – so your characters can’t be either. There has to be some light and shade to make them believable and make your readers more likely to engage with them.


Rob writes under the name, R.S Pateman and  is the author of The Second Life of Amy Archer. His new book, The Prophecy of Bees was released earlier this month (both published by Orion.) For more information on Rob and his novels, visit his website: http://rspateman.com/


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Novel Kicks
About Novel Kicks/Laura...
Novel Kicks was founded in 2009 and is run by Laura who is currently living in Hampshire, and lives with husband, Chris and her cat, Buddy. She would love to be a writer. She’s trying to write the novel she thinks so much about. She’s loved reading and writing since ‘Creative Writing’ classes in primary school. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything she can get her hands on, she loves reading, dancing like a loon, and watching Project Runway and Ugly Betty (her two TV guilty pleasures.) She also has an obsession with chocolate and Jammie Dodgers.

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