Today I'm continuing with my recent theme of writing and publishing advice. Apparently, character development happens to be one of my favorite topics since I've written about it on three different occasions. So, I don't have too much new to say, but I do have some links.
Character Sketches 2
Getting to know your main characters is key to writing a great story. And knowing the details of a character is more than knowing that the main characters has brown hair, blue eyes, and is right handed. It's also knowing whether he/she is an optimist or a pessimist, and whether he/she had a rough childhood, and whether he/she has any close friends.
Knowing the intimate details of a character serves three purposes:
1. The intimate details gives the reader more insight into the character. The more a reader know about a person, the more a reader can become interested. It's hard to care about someone that you know nothing about. There's more chance of an emotional investment if you know some details.
2. The more you know about a character, the more alive they become. For me, a character often comes alive in their hobbies, odd quirks, and strange habits. These odd traits can often prove to be hindrances and helps in a book, making a book more interesting.
3. Knowing the history and details of your character will help you and your readers understand a character's motivations. Why is this character going out of his way to help this person? Maybe it's because he regrets not helping someone in his past, or that she reminds him of his sister who never makes an appearance in the book, or that her brother owes your character money and the only way he's going to get paid is through helping her.
Finally, it's the flaws and faults of a character that make them really live. Perfection is not something most humans can relate to. However, at one time or another, we've made mistakes that we wish we could undo. Why should your characters be any different?
When I started writing the Dark Days series, I wrote a number of character sketches to help me better understand the characters I was working with. Danaus, in particular, had a lot of back story that never actually appeared on the page, but I needed to know so I could better understand him.
Here are some links to some of the character sketches that I worked on:
Understand your characters, and writing that book will become just a little bit easier.