How Do You Handle Character Development?

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June 10, 2016

A Guide to Character Creation for Easy Fiction Writing

Character creation is something writers find difficulty in. It’s true that developing a character takes time and effort, requiring you to read, observe, and interact, just so you’d know where to start. In the truest sense, when writing fiction, you need to make readers fall in love with the characters you create. That’s why character building is important. The role of character development is one crucial thing that book authors often neglect.

developing a character
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If you’re unsure of how to develop your characters, here are a few things you should avoid:

  • One-dimensional Characters

So, you’ve managed to come up with a character. However, there’s no backstory and there’s nothing inherently interesting for readers to look deep into. One-dimensional characters are just as bland and hard to relate to, existing only for the purpose of existence’s sake.

  • Mary Sue/ Gary Stu Characters

Have you ever written a character so perfect, and so flawless, readers could hardly find any faults in them? Then you’ve probably written a Mary Sue or a Gary Stu. Such characters exhibit an idealized vision of the author without considering development at all. Who needs development anyway, when your character is already perfect?

  • Stereotypical Characters

Should the main character always be a savior? Should the heroine be a damsel in distress? Should the villain just be evil without any sort of motive? There are different ways to write characters into your story, but wasting it on stale clichés and stereotypes will just turn readers off. People love George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series because there are hardly any character clichés and stereotypes at all! Avoid stereotypical characters if you want to reel more readers in.

Here are some factors to consider when creating characters:

  • Realism

As stated above, your character shouldn’t be too perfect. Flaws bring out more color into character development. Create realistic characters, regardless of the genre.

  • Dynamism

Character development requires that you make your characters ever-changing, depending on the situation they’re in. We can all attest that there are nuances to every person, after all.

  • Relatability

Will your readers ever empathize with your character? Can you relate to your character? Consider how you feel about the character you’ve written, and you’ll know you’re doing something correct.

Even though character development takes plenty of work, you’ll know you created the right characters whenever you and your readers start caring about them. If you may, you can also read up on the best character-driven books out there for character development ideas!

The best way to building a character, therefore, is to see how much you can invest in them. Perhaps that’s enough to develop characters in fiction.