Developing Characters

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Currently, I am developing my characters before I begin writing my story. There are plenty of ways to develop characters, and I’m sure there are plenty of resources on the internet that can help you. However, I have a specific way that helps me, and if this doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t matter. Not everything works for everyone.

Personally, I love to know my characters like I know the people closest to me. I want to know everything I can about these characters, and be pleasantly surprised when they do something I wasn’t expecting. In order to do so, I like answering character questionnaires.

There are so many character questionnaires around the internet that it becomes difficult to know which ones to go with. The more in depth the character questionnaire is with its questions, the more likely I am to pick that one. I like to answer random questions, because it allows me to broaden my characters.

I did find a helpful tip I will probably do at some point. Someone once said to write down everything you know about your character, and write down what you don’t know. That way, you can work out what you don’t know and write down an answer.

If you want character questionnaires but you have no idea where to even begin looking, I managed to find a good picture. Credit.

tumblr_mblxnqcf3N1qigz83o1_1280Personally, I prefer to develop my characters before I begin writing, but that’s down to personal preference. Either way, characters need to be developed enough that you can answer any question thrown at you about your character. If you really struggle to answer a question, I’d suggest continuing to develop them.

Developing characters is one of my musts before I can even consider writing the story. To me, it is a crucial element to any story. I want to do the best job I possibly can to develop said characters to the highest standard. Hence why I am currently answering character questionnaires.

I hope this has helped.

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Characters

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This is a vital writing element, because without characters, you don’t have a story.

Creating a character can be a long process, and the longer you spend on it, the better. The character will be developed by being more realistic. The important character type to avoid is the Mary Sue.

Mary Sue (or Gary Stu): a character who is poorly developed, can be perfect (so nothing bad happens to her) and is generally not interesting. A Mary Sue can also be the author inserting themselves into the story. An example would be Bella from Twilight.

To create a good character, I’d highly recommend answering character questionnaires/interviews. There are plenty on the internet, but I’d be cautious with which ones you choose. Some can be useless with the questions they provided, while others are far more detailed.

Another tip is to base your characters on other people. Perhaps a celebrity you admire, or your best friend, or a family member. Regardless, basing your characters off people you know can be helpful because you have basic character traits already that you like about them, and their flaws.

I would advise against using yourself, because otherwise, it might be like a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character. It’s okay to use a few traits, and maybe flaws too, but try not to allow your characters to be too much like you, otherwise people will notice and dislike the character. It’s a cheap trick, and it’s one not many people appreciate.

With developing a character, try to imagine them in your everyday life and imagine what they’d do. Picture what they’d buy at a shop, or what their morning routine would be. By doing so, you get an understanding of what your character is like, and again, it gives your character more depth.

Preferably, the more time you spend on creating your characters, the more in depth and realistic the character will be.