Character foundation/development in four steps

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#1

Here’s a little guide on basic character development, for new writers or just those who are just a bit stuck

NOTE this is mostly about starting off your characters and connecting them to each other and the story

FOR STARTERS
Make sure that you have a general idea of how your entire story is going to play out and a
solid-ish idea of the first five or six chapters
if you want me to I’d be happy to create a thread on plot development and starting a story

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Great now onto creating characters

  1. CONNECT YOURSELF TO YOUR CHARACTERS
    Place just a little bit of yourself in EVERY character you create. You are a person with real happiness, real sadness and real obstacles. Placing some of your character traits in a fictional person makes them more realistic, significantly more relatable and its spurs on your writing, as you’re now a part of your character!

that being said

  1. GIVE YOUR CHARACTER TRAITS THAT YOU EITHER WISH YOU HAD OR ARE THANKFUL YOU DON’T HAVE

Good story lines and dialogue all revolve around one thing: beautifully flawed characters.
Push yourself to learn about things you don’t understand or emotions/quirks you see in other people. Do research! Your character can have more than one flaw and layering characters is a great idea!

When I develop characters I layer characters using an onion peeling method, which is basically me listing and describing everything that they are on the surface down to what makes them tick

template
character flaws (listed from surface to core)

  1. FLAW
    Why are they like this
    When/how did it develop (give a short backstory)
    How does this trait connect CHARACTER to other people (list connections and descriptions if desired)
  2. … etc

This is just how I create my characters’ basic foundations
HOWEVER while layering is great don’t overwhelm the character with so many flaws that they become messy and unrealistic. Every flaw must connect with the next in one way or another

  1. (story presence) HOW YOUR CHARACTER LINKS TO THE STORY

Now that you have an idea of your characters, it’s time to connect them to your story line
When placing characters in scenes ask yourself how they (knowing them a little better) would act in that situation. i.e. if you’ve described your character as arrogant, how would they react in a situation where their abilities were being undermined? Obviously they wouldn’t just let it happen - there’d be conflict. make sure your characters are written to behave the way you describe them

  1. DEVELOPMENT
    Let me start off with this development doesn’t just HAPPEN. Your character can’t be super vain one day then after one quick encounter with their true love who doesn’t like self-involved people, be humble as hell the next. That’s an example of bad character development (also a short example of the excruciatingly painful “I’ll change my very being for you” cliche)

In my opinion there are two (simple) ways your character can develop
a. Through identification of the behavior/trait/mannerism they want to change
b. Unknowingly changing behavior/trait/mannerism through external forces (their new friend, their love interest or a death, a new relationship etc.)

Character development is tricky and you have to make sure you have general idea of where you want them to go from the very beginning or your story could take an unexpected and messy turn.

REMEMBER Character development can be good or bad

That was just a short summery of how I plan my character…stuff
I’m not a writing expert or anything I just thought this may be helpful
If you have any other questions you can PM me or reply to this topic x

P.S I’m sorry for the grammar/spelling errors you’re undoubtedly going to find in this post, but I’m giving tips for writing not grammar so leave me alone okay thanks


#2