One Character Every Book Needs – Do You Have a Jerry?

Photo by CMSeter

Photo by CMSeter

Do you have a Jerry in your novel?

One day when I was at the Emergency Room for a migraine a gentleman was in the waiting room. Jerry was an ornery sort. He wanted what he wanted and he wanted it now.

Jerry didn’t want to wait and he let the hospital staff know, so many times that everyone in the waiting room knew his name.

No, you don’t have to have a cantankerous character in your novel, but you need a Jerry type in your story for sure. By Jerry type, I mean a unique character that adds flavor to your novel.

How do you know if you have the One Character Every Novel Needs? Think through your cast and look for that town character that stands out.

Examples of One Character Every Novel Needs:

The Town Crazy– there are those characters that just have lost a few marbles. We can make them sweet or scary, but they add rich flavor to our stories.

The Eccentric Character– the free spirit, the big foot chaser, a ufo spotter and others with unique views on the world that often don’t correlate with everyone else’s.

The Larger Than Life Character – A character that’s words and actions impact the whole town. The founding fathers, the elderly woman who sews quilts for everyone, the cook who makes everyone feel at home. The town wouldn’t be the town without this character.

The Town Pest or Pet- A wild life character that everyone knows and talks about. Even an animal that gets in everyone’s trash can can be fun to add.

The Town Sweetheart- This can be a child, an elderly person, a special needs individual, or someone who is so kind that others are blessed by them in unique ways. This character often speaks the ”aww moments” in the book.

Do you have an example of the One Character Every Book Needs from your novel or some other book or movie?




About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

10 thoughts on “One Character Every Book Needs – Do You Have a Jerry?

  1. dtopliff says:

    Since many delightful, sometimes cantankerous, unforgettable people are in real life, it’s great to put them in books. Possibly some of mine are drawn from now departed fairly distant relatives . . .and when my books come out, readers are free to ask . . .

  2. I think most writers have those characters in their backgrounds. lol.

  3. hilzonsix says:

    Sassy, a raccoon, is the one that adds to my story. She is always into something that causes reactions from the difficult adult.

  4. joaniebruce says:

    I have a friend who dresses with a flare. ALWAYS fancy dresses and high heels… even to ball games. And no matter what dress she’s wearing, she has a flouncy hat to match. And believe me, her personality is larger than life too. One of these days I HAVE to put her in one of my books! She’s too perfect for that “Jerry” in my book! 🙂

  5. holsen68 says:

    I love to connect to characters in a book. It makese the story seem more alive, more real. This is a great idea for win I switch from nonfiction to fiction. Thank you…

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