Gloria Gawron asked me to write a post on character development, and it's about bloody time I did. The last time I wrote about that was in 2013, on non-perfect characters versus perfect stereotypes, and on how pink tutus rule (don't ask why). Well then, I present to you my newly minted wisdom (hey, it's been 3 years, and I learned a shitload since then, so shush, I'm terribly wise).
The only thing you need to accomplish in your book is to make your characters come across as real people. Sounds easy, right? Then why is it so hard to do? Because we tend to forget that there are layers to our humanity. It's easy to write the first thing that comes to mind without trying to put yourself into your character's shoes. And even if we think we do that, we simply don't know them well enough to have them come across as people made of flesh and blood, people with personal histories, fears, beliefs, behavior quirks, and so on. Keeping that in mind, you can relax and accept the fact that your first draft characters will be flat. That's where the rewrites come in.Read More