A character can be defined as a being in a story. But this is only for some of the time. Some other time a character may choose to be a non-being, as in the case of trees and mountains. A character can be anything: a person (living or dead), a dog, a flying boat, a fish or a wallflower. But one character should not be all these at any one time. In this opinion, it will be easier all around for us to direct our attentions to the general area of human characters.
Humans are far from perfect, and so a human character in a story should be sufficiently mortal with all the imperfections and limitations, except when said character belongs to the class of Spiderman and Superman and X-men.
Characters are creations existing in someone’s imagination and they have rights. As such, characters should be treated fairly and with respect and given adequate protection in a tale’s society.
It has been brought to notice that many times a Minor character, such as a side kick, begins a story and somehow around the middle of the story the character inexplicably goes missing and the reader cannot find or locate him anywhere. A character that begins life in a story should finish it. It is mean when writers forget their characters and let them drown or get stranded in a tale.
All characters must be accounted for in a story. If a character suffers demise, it should be recorded, at least in respect. If indeed a character dies, the dead should remain dead in the story except in the manner of ghosts and spirits. It won’t do for a character that died in chapter 6 to suddenly forget he was dead in chapter 9 and start talking and interfering and doing many things. As a rule, if a writer introduces a character, it is best to stalk and shadow the writer till his matter and place in the story comes to a reasonable end.
Importantly, all characters in a book should have sufficient excuse for being in the book. There is no random life. No character should be loitering and wandering anyhow in a book. If a character cannot defend his or her presence in a book, then by all means the character should be relieved from duty. Let him get drowned or knocked down or shot or hanged. It is not good to have a story over populated because the more characters in a book the most likely that one of them would be forgotten and fall out of the book.
Considering conversation among characters, many writers are unaware that characters tend to get talkative if not well trained. Characters should be introduced to the etiquette governing talk and when to shut up.
If conversations are done by human characters in a story, the talk should sound like human talk and use words such as humans would likely use in the given circumstances. If a girl talks in a story let the voice be alto and thin and not baritone. Females don’t sound like bass drums. If a man cries in a novel, let him cry like a man. It will embarrass the reader to read a story where a grown man wails and pulls out his hair and rolls on the floor screaming for mama. If a man is not gay, let him not speak like a woman. A dog should bark and not mew, no matter the temptation.
All the talk talked in a book should serve a purpose and be relevant to the story, and avoid astral travellings and illegal meanderings and should attempt to be interesting to the reader. All talk should end when the people cannot think of anything else to say.
A story should not be too noisy.
Some of these things are important if you want your story to be read without a smirk.
We will continue.