Do you know how to develop memorable characters in a story

Hope you’re not tired of character development yet.

Because I’m still learning and my characters aren’t quite where I want them.

pen-spinning-976930_640

So y’all be sure and send me all the help you can. I need it.

The tips I learned today are:

  • Don’t write characters that blend into the background.

Whether fictional or real-life they must be three dimensional. What lead up to specific actions and life choices in the story?  By understanding their beliefs, education, values, background, and physical attributes the reader will understand their behavior.

By understanding their beliefs, education, values, background, and physical attributes the reader will understand their behavior.

  • Reveal their character.

In other words, reveal the character of your character. Does your character cheat, steal, or are they a giver, helper and lover. Show the reader their traits. What makes them tick. Let those traits develop over the course of the story. A person’s character is developed when tested.  The stakes and the consequences of the events must be high enough to be worth the reader caring about. Will they rise to the occasion or utterly fail? They either have it or they don’t.

  • Follow the passion.

Finding your character’s obsessive passion is crucial. Make their desire intense. Whatever your character wants or needs, make them care passionately about it.

  • Journal.

Now I wasn’t too sure about this tip but the more I read the more I became convinced. Q Lindsey Barrett might be on to something. She suggests that when writing the character’s biography and description you also record their rituals, and habits. She reminds us that crafting enduring characters is hard, time-consuming work. Don’t I know it!

  • Use Character Traits To Create Narrative Tension.

Use your character’s deepest desire by preventing him from having it. Want’s riches, then have his business collapse and file bankruptcy.

  • Avoid laundry lists descriptions.

Such as hair color, height, and weight. Give more explaining their temperament, confidence, and ambition.

  • Names.

Names matter but don’t be afraid to change the characters name if it doesn’t seem to fit.

This was my lesson today. Curtsey of Q Lindsey Barrett  and her post at the Missouri Review Blog – Click below and keep reading.

Writing Beyond Good: Crafting Memorable Characters

I’d love to hear from you! Click the “write me” tab or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell,Facebook at jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! The lights are on and I’m waiting.

Please remember to share this post with your Twitter  peeps and Facebook fans.

10 thoughts on “Do you know how to develop memorable characters in a story

  1. Another good post.

    Especially liked the suggestion regrding the laundry list. Character description is an opportunity to have our readers realte to the protagonist and cast. I also find it to be one of the fun parts of writing. Creating someone likeable with flaws that readers can identify with.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

Let's talk! All comments are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s