What, do you think is more important for the reader in a fiction novel? The story or the character development? If you guessed character development, then give yourselves a pat on the back, because you are right!
The characters of your story are the driving force that can make or break a story. If you’re stuck on how to develop a character, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share 8 tips on creating a compelling character that will keep your readers thoroughly entertained and engaged.
- Determine your character’s motivations and goals early on in the story. This driving force will shape the subsequent action and create a compelling story arc. For inspiration, look to characters like Harry Potter, who was fueled by his desire to defeat Lord Voldemort after the murder of his parents.
- Choose the appropriate voice for the story, be it the first or third person. The narrator’s perspective will impact how a character’s information is revealed over time. Take Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi for example. In the first part, The Immortals Of Meluha, the story is narrated from the perspective of Shiva, and the internal conflict and the actions are easily understandable to the reader.
- Refrain from revealing key information about a character early on in the story, whether it’s their flaws or habits. The slow reveal mirrors how people get to know each other in real life.
- Creating conflict will generate tension and move the story forward. Conflict can be external or internal and can force characters to make decisions that reveal their strengths and weaknesses. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, the conflict of the story is external and involves the two warring families – the Montagues and the Capulets.
- Flesh out your characters’ backstories, even if much of it doesn’t make it to the final draft. The backstories will inspire you to know what makes the characters tick and how the characters are likely to progress.
- To create believable characters, draw on real-life personality traits and quirks to create multidimensional characters and recognizable personalities. Observe the people around you and look at how they react to certain situations. This will not only help you with the book but also give you a deeper understanding of human behavior.
- Paint a physical picture of your characters for your readers. Describe their appearance, mannerisms, personality, and even body language. This will create a more realistic picture of the character.
- Develop secondary characters who are in contrast to the main characters. Sidekicks or foils can illuminate the main character’s traits, strengths, and flaws. Samwise Gamgee from Lord Of The Rings is a great example of this as he accompanied Frodo Baggins through his quest.
Now that you know about these eight tips for character development, it’s time to put them to use. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating unforgettable characters.
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