Posted in ✍️ Writing Tips & Resources

Revealing Character Through Reputation

Have you ever been hanging out with someone you don’t know very well, and they say something about you… and you realize you’ve never told them that?

That is your reputation.

Like it or not, people talk about us when we’re not there. This isn’t always gossip or negative. Sometimes we just want to talk to our friends about other cool people we know. It’s normal.

Something I’ve recently learned–which I am super stoked about–is that we can reveal who our characters are through their reputation.

Example 👇

Let’s say you have two characters, Jenna and Nikki, and they are best friends. Jenna loves to tell Nikki all her secrets, especially about her exes. Jenna trusts Nikki, loves her, and would do anything for her.

Then Jenna meets a new character, Aaron. While going on a date, Aaron casually mentions Jenna’s serial-monogamy. This is something Jenna has never told Aaron.

So, what does this tell us?

One possibility: Jenna has a reputation for dating and breaking up, dating and breaking up, over and over again.

Another possibility: Nikki, in fact, cannot keep a secret.

Of course, there are many options for this technique. Maybe the rumor/reputation is a positive one. Maybe it is one that just tells us a bit more about the character(s). Maybe it is a revelation that further complicates the conflict.

But, this is one way to creatively tell us about your characters–other than saying they are 5’9, with brown hair, and that they love pizza.

So, I hope this gives you some juicy ideas for your story!

Take care and write on,


🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜

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