Character Development 101: A Simple Guide

Creating a fully rounded and lifelike character in fiction writing should always be on top of your priority list. Character development is like the core of the plot—without it, nothing will give life to your story. Thus, this element deserves every bit of your attention. If you need ideas on how you can develop your characters, read on:

Provide Background for Each Character

A mistake that most writers make is focusing only on the main characters. However, most of the time, readers will likely create a special bond with supporting characters more often than the main characters. As an author, you desire to satisfy what readers want. Considering that secondary characters appear more than once in the story, they can constantly be developed. These secondary characters can be either the protagonist’s or the antagonists’ sidekicks. Characterize them as witty, funny, and pleasant. You can always have one or two chapters dedicated to telling their background. It will be a great way to make your readers invest in them as well.

Create Fascinating Tensions Among Characters

If you want another approach that can get your readers captivated in the story is by creating exciting tensions. Tensions are the ones that make your readers want to know what’s going to happen next. Adding fuel to the tale, you must use your characters to make these tensions possible. Remember that your characters are the ones that drive your story forward. Hence, ensure that your readers are siding with the main character. Readers like adventures, so they crave tension. One book that can provide optimum adventure is Bannack: A Growing Up Story In The Vigilante West. It is a story of adventure and self-discovery set in the time of the Civil War and vigilante violence in Montana. Follow Billy Mayfair as he witnesses the deadliest outbreak of vigilante violence in US history on a historical novel by Delaney.

Describe Setting and Characters Clearly

Readers love to stimulate their imagination. So you need to make sure that you have practiced your descriptive writing. This way, you will be great at describing the setting and characters in the most effective way. You want your readers to see the world exactly how you created it to be. How the characters dress and act, their hair color and mannerisms, and the way they speak and even walk. It would be best if you lay everything down for the readers to perceive perfectly. When it comes to setting, you use sensory settings and incorporating figurative language.

Create Strong Personalities

Unforgettable characters are the main factors that create a memorable story. Think of the people you have met in the past. What paramount quality do they possess? Well, most of them possess strong personalities. Expose the character’s personal motivation and opinions. Make them stick to their values and principles. This makes an admirable trait that most people like to witness. If you see it in a real-world setting, you will realize that creating characters is much like looking at those people you admire the most. What do qualities do they have that most people would want to have?

Choose the Perfect Point of View

When selecting the right voice for your novel, you need to really focus on it. It is one of the crucial parts of your pre-writing decisions because it is one element that needs to be constant throughout the book. So, if you choose a first-person POV, you have to use it throughout. The character’s point of view—aside from the dialogue—dramatically impacts in making the readers learn the characters’ thoughts and feelings. It’s either first-person or third-person POV. Once you choose the first person, you have a chance to connect with the readers on a deeper level. On the other hand, the third person will enable you to write from a broader perspective. You can choose either. When it comes to the second-person point of view, it engages the reader effectively; this is ideal and better used in non-fiction.

Characters are genuinely immaculate in every story you create. Thus, make sure that you are developing them in the most effective way. If you plan your whole book beforehand, never forget to plan out how you are going to develop your characters. May this guide help you achieve the best story.

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