6 Simple Tips on developing characters in a story.
A character could mean a distinguishing feature or trait between different things or persons. So when developing characters in a story there should be a distinct trait and personality they must possess and also changes these personalities go through during the course of the story.
The ability to develop characters whom your readers believe in is very essential.
Now let’s look at 6 simple tips that are used in developing characters in a story.
- Create a profile for your characters
Creating a detailed character profile is a useful way to broaden your own understanding of your characters development. It involves outlining the profile of each character which includes their Name, Age, Gender, Likes and Dislikes, Occupation etc. You should get as detailed as possible
- Develop your characters personality using dialogue
This involves their speech and respond to questions that are being asked to the character. For example,
“Hello”. I called out. The farmer looked up. First at Davie then at me. Who are you looking for, she asked?. Her voice was light but gravel sprinkled. I kept starting at her fingers as they planted each seed. Then i answered, “The Caretaker”. You should have said so.” Okay ma’am”. What do you need from him?
This short dialogue has developed the character a bit further. We now see her tough uncompromising nature. Her words are straight to the point. Her abrupt tone suggests wariness. Her quick “Who are you looking for” potrays a hint of mistrust.
To develop a more believable character, ask a series of questions that will reveal their true self inside out, like
• Who is your role model and why?
• What is your greatest desire?
• What was your most embarrassing moment?
• What is your vision in life?
You can get more personal, as this process will help you create a unique profile for your characters
3. Give your characters desires and want
Every one wants something at one point or another in time. I mean who doesn’t? So also should your storys character even if it’s only a bowl of ice cream or a cup of water
There are some basic motivation that drives people which includes desire for
• Wealth and Fame
• Intimate relationships/ Romantic partners
• Happiness, etc.
Characters are especially believable when you’re able to show that, they like us also have desires, wants and needs, and that they are not just figments of our imagination. This challenge adds spice to your characters path.
4. Give your characters some inconsistencies and flaws
Just like one of the Avengers endgame characters, Captain America whose heart was his weakness, your character should be given an occasional weakness or flaw so they don’t sound boring.
So occasional inconsistencies and flaws are very useful for the following reasons
• Your readers will relate easily with them even on a basic level (e.g having a eating disorder)
• It makes your story intriguing and dramatic.
• They shouldn’t be consistent with their beliefs at all times
A character who is charming could find itself in a situation that warrants they lose their temper. For such out of character incidents, the cause should be shown in the story so as not to catch your readers unaware.
5. Give characters obstacles to overcome.
When characters are placed in situations whereby they have to overcome obstacles or defeat another character, it creates an air of excitement and tension. This also helps in developing the character further.
For example in a romantic story you can,
• Add third interfering parties, like in Romeo and Juliet, where the ill fated lovers family feud complicated and threatened their connection
• Create distance, like most new romance movies the love interest is suddenly taken far away.
• Add a flaw that creates hurdles, a character might bring in baggage like romance is a bonus book, threatening the harmony and stability of their relationship.
6. Use a secondary character to add perspective
Secondary characters have the ability to develop sides of your main characters your readers are yet to see. For example, a young lady who seems meek and gentle as a lamb may become aggressive when she meets someone who reminds her of a bad experience like a rape incident
In conclusion, for you to develop amazing characters that your readers will get hooked on, it will entail using a physical description, dialogues and action all at once as this helps the reader build a clear mental picture of them.