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Crafting Believable Characters

Priscilla Oliveras teaches how to Craft Believable Characters at the March 27, 2021, meeting of DARA.

Many Keeper Shelf books land there in large part because the readers fell in love with the characters and want to revisit them. To create believable, three-dimensional characters and bring them to life on the page, you have to know them as well as you know your best friends.

This presentation explains several character-creating techniques, starting with character sketches, interviews, diary-ing/journaling, and “who, what, why,” ending with a detailed explanation of the all-important GMC, popularized in Debra Dixon’s how-to text Goal, Motivation and Conflict. GMC charts from the rom-coms “You’ve Got Mail” and “Pride and Prejudice” along with tips for using the GMC sentence to help with pitching round out the discussion, all with the end goal of providing attendees with a few new or improved additions to their writer’s toolbox.

Priscilla Oliveras

Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. She and her work have earned praise from O, The Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, among others. Since earning her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Priscilla now serves as adjunct faculty in the program and teaches the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. While she’s a devotee of the romance genre, Priscilla’s also a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at, on Facebook at, or on Twitter and Instagram via @prisoliveras.

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