A little while back I wrote an article about gauging the quality of characters in fiction. The article focuses on one simple test I learned from some colleagues called ‘The Bus Test’. Basically, you take a character at any point in a story and hit them with a bus. Then you ask yourself, ‘Do I care that a bus just hit this character?” The method is listed on Urban Dictionary, so it has to be legit.
Writers use the Bus Test to fix characters, readers use it to know when to throw a book away.
Here is an example video for you more visual people:
Gets my point across. This method also works in film, as performed by Brad Pitt in the movie Meet Jo Black.
Do you care that they got hit by a moving vehicle? Would you care if the character you are writing or reading about just got ‘grilled’ by public transportation? If yes, then keep reading or writing. If no, then fix it.
Read the whole article on the Fiction Vortex site here.