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Friday, June 23, 2017

Character Development


How do you go about developing your characters for a story? How much time do you spend or does it just happen in the writing process? What inspires it?

This is one of the basics of writing, developing characters your reader will fall in love with.  If they don’t care about the characters they won’t keep reading. I spend a lot of time developing my characters. The plot comes easy, but I need to have characters that advance the plot.
I use a questionnaire to get to know something about my hero/heroine. I want to know what their goal is. There has to be conflict between the h/h, both internal and external. And their development and growth needs to be shown as they face the obstacles of reaching their goal.  I try to do as much as possible before I start to write, including trying to develop a different voice for each character

That said, as I write I get to know my characters. I learn how they will react to situations and how they grow from the obstacles blocking their goal. By the time I write the end, I am familiar with my characters. They are family.
Then I go back and write the beginning, because now i know the characters and how they will react.

Looking forward to seeing what the others have to say about developing characters.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-YV
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Marie Laval http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/

Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/?m=1

16 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about your characters being "Family" by the time you get to the end. As I type those words, even if it's just the rough draft and I know I'm going to be hanging out with them for a little longer as I edit and fix, I still feel this awful sensation as if a real life flesh and blood friend just moved to the other side of the country.

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    1. Writing The End really is like cutting off the family. I agree. Thanks Skye.

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  2. It's amazing the different methods we all use to develop those interesting characters. Enjoyed your post.

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    1. Writers are all different, write different genres and of course we'd develop our characters differently. :)

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  3. Characters do feel like family. They spend so much time in our heads we know them better than almost anyone else. :D

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    1. You're so right. Especially about the time we spend with them in our heads. I hadn't thought of that.

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  4. Interesting that you write the beginning last. That makes sense. When I was supervising research students, I advised them to write the thesis that way: introduction when you know what you are introducing!

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    1. I like that - introduction when you know what you are introducing!
      Thanks, Bob.

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  5. I've never tried a questionnaire to learn about my characters. I might give that a go one of these days. Normally I just sit down and write a letter out as one of my characters and that gives me the picture of them.

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    1. Writing a letter - that's an interesting idea. I might try that. thanks for sharing.

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  6. Hi Beverley, very interesting. I do have to write the beginning first, but I also do go back time and again to tweak as something has happened - usually caused by an out-of-control character. anne

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    1. I love the out-of-control character. They're the most fun.

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  7. I too love developing my characters' voice. It's a lot of fun. How interesting that you don't start with writing the beginning of you story. I could never do that. I am obsessive with getting the start just right before I can do anything else.

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    1. We all do it differently. The start gets me writing, but I don't know my characters well enough until at least half-way through the book. Welcome to our group.

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  8. Writing my characters is the most fun stage of writing for me. However, sometimes it happens that I figure out their quirks mid-story, so I now tend to actually writing out a more in-depth description of them before setting off!

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  9. Interesting that you find plots easy. That's something I often have difficulty with. Once I have my cast of characters then I start throwing out the what ifs to build the plot.

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