As I may have said before, character development is a struggle for me. As I rewrite I learn more about my character, but recently something dawned on me that’s helped immensely – my MC (main character) Kasey isn’t me. She has her own goals that are different from mine. She has mannerisms that aren’t mine. And she reacts in ways that aren’t the same as how I would.
This realization has greatly helped me. Of course she wasn’t working because I wasn’t writing her as who she truly is.
So who is she? One of the ways to figure this out is to find a character in a movie or an actor that portrays a character similar to what you want, and then study them. I watched Michelle Williams in Me Without You and realized that was how I wanted Kasey to be. So now I’m watching Michelle in all the movies I can find (meaning everything NetFlix has on-demand), to see what she does that’s similar to Kasey, to see what I can apply to my main character.
The other characters have been easier. Andrew – I know Andrew. “You maybe able to read me like an open book, but you’ll never know what page you’re on,” he told me. I know Andrew, better than he knows himself. I know he would be played by Alexander Skarsgard because of his role in Generation: Kill; his eyes were what hooked me, that haunted combat look that I know Andrew has. As for David, my third main character, I haven’t found who would play him yet. I’m not as concerned, as he doesn’t matter to the story quite as much as Kasey and Andrew.
So, if you’re stuck on a character, take a movie break. You never know what you might learn.