Character Development

I freely admit, character development is something that I struggle with.  I’ve solicited advice on various writing sites to which I belong, and here are some tips I’ve received:

  • Create a character sheets.  This technique involves filling out a survey about your character – appearance, history, likes, dislikes, etc.  While interesting, most of it is irrelevant to my character, as it never comes up in the story.  It’s a nice time-wasterfiller though.
  • Give your character a secret or purpose or goal or dream that only she knows.  This one is a bit harder.  After much reflection, I finally realized what it is that drives my main character, and I’m hoping that because of that I can make her more three-dimensional and likeable, rather than the vacuous vanilla doormat she’s described as now.
  • Figure out your character’s zodiac sign.  Whether you believe in astrology or not, there are twelve personality profiles out there for you to use.  This will give your character personality traits as well as likes, dislikes, and tips on how he’d interact with others, based on their own signs.

I’m not suggesting these steps are necessary for every single one of your characters, but if you’re stuck with a flat character, give some of these ideas a try.

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