I really should be doing my school work right now, but I am the CEO of procrastination.
Okay, it seems like a lot of people struggle with this whenever I give them a review on character development.
So here’s a thread on how to improve your skill set with this one.
Obviously we know what character development is-- developing your character.
There’s two ways to do this: Narration and dialogue.
This is crucial in making a good story. It’s the key to developing the attachment between your audience and your actors!
If you don’t have character development, you don’t have a character. You just have a walking statue.
How can you develop your character?
I’m going to be honest, I do not think narration is a fantastic way of developing your character. It’s stale and more of the lazy way to show the personality. Narrating your character development will more likely bore your readers.
However, it doesn’t mean it’s all bad; It depends on how you use your narration.
If you’re going to flat-out explain to me the interests, personality traits, and relationships that the character has in the beginning of the episode-- gosh, don’t even bother writing a story. Just kidding! (but it’s a terrible and lazy way)
I’m going to forget all of that information by the time I get to the end of the episode.
I am not going to keep a tab of you explaining the relationship between your uncle’s cousin’s sister’s brother’s broski and his girlfriend, that somehow affects you to the point where you have to cover your eyes while eating at every table.
When you’re reading a really, really good book, have you ever read the first chapter where the author is explaining every single relationship and personality trait that the MC has? NO! You know why? Because you know d*mn well you’re going to put that book down by the time you finish the first paragraph.
However, there are some better ways to use narration.
Each character has a distinct personality that makes them different. The way they react to situations shows who they are.
You can use your narration describe the emotions of certain characters.
Here’s a bad example of narration:
My name is sherry and I am 17 years old!
I like to beat up plants when I’m bored, and occasionally visit my grandpa because I love him so much.
I love fashion!!!
Oh my god, no.
Sometimes you forget names. Just like this-- I’m going to forget everything.
Here’s a better example of how you can use narration in your character development:
The instant I looked at his eyes, the growing fear and shame began to consume my mind.
I wanted to run, but my knees were completely solid- so I stood there.
My hands began trembling like mini earthquakes, and my chest grew heavier, and heavier. At this point, I don’t even think I can breathe.
I couldn’t hear anything other than the loud heartbeat coming from my chest.
The embarrassment from this moment will forever be engraved into my mind.
If you use your implicit skills, you can imply that this person is probably having some form on anxiety attack (could be anything) from the overwhelming embarrassment. You can tell by the way she’s describing her breathing, her shaking, her paralyzed knees, etc.
From that information, you can tell that this person doesn’t handle situations like this well. This person might not be the one to hang out in big crowds because big crowds means better chances of embarrassing themselves.
The way people react to certain scenarios is the explanation to your audience!
This is a better way of developing your characters!
Think of your favorite character in a show or movie. Why do you love them?
Now think of a character you absolutely hate. Why do you hate them?
Is it because of their actions? The way they speak? How they talk to other people? How they handle situations? How they use their words?
You can show so much through dialogue.
Here’s an example of how you can show it:
You’re telling me that snooping through my phone is out of love?!
No, it’s not!
You don’t respect my privacy!
If you trusted me in the first place, you wouldn’t need to look through anything!
You can tell that Sherry doesn’t like it when people snoop through her stuff. She probably is a firm believer in trust? Could it be a relationship? It sounds like it because that’s what couples sometimes argue about. Maybe she strongly believes in respect from the way she spoke about trust. She sounds angry, and was willing to speak up about it. Maybe she’s one to voice her thoughts.
See how much I picked out from that dialogue?
See how it isn’t a boring explination?
See how I was able to imply her personality from those lines?
There is no right or wrong way to develop your character. There are ways that are better than others.
I hope this helped!! If you would like more tips:
NOW I really need to get back to my work LMAO