How to Write Specific Characters

Ghost Writer
5 min readJun 25, 2023

The Secret to Writing Well part II… Characters are very important, so I'm told.

Hello everyone,

Understanding conflict is key to writing well. As I said in my last post, Flannery O’Connor, the queen of southern gothic writing and just amazing in general, wrote Mystery and Manners whose first section is literally about why Peacocks are the kind of birds they are before she gives some of the most insightful writing advice I’ve found. But as I was saying she defined very clearly the two elements of Conflict.

“specific characters and events influence each other to form a meaningful narrative” (O’Connor 66)

But as I learned from many times of trying you can’t eat a whole piece of cake in one bite. Let’s look at the first part: Specific Characters

Specific Characters

Everyone knows a book must have good characters, but the number of times I’ve heard ‘develop your characters, develop your characters….’ But what does that mean? What needs to be developed? Why do they need to be developed? Now that I have O’Connor’s definition, these questions are a little clearer. Because she didn’t just throw specific words in there to up her word count, you’d be surprised how many classic books are so long…



Ghost Writer

Just tryin to figure out writing and here's what I've learned so far.