How Do I Develop a Character | Living the Write Life

How do I develop a character?

With a few simple questions you can make the process of character creation easier.

Take this image of a cat from Pixabay.

Black cat staring at camera.
  • Is it male or female?
  • What’s its name?
  • What’s its goal?
  • Why does it have this goal?
  • What is stopping it from achieving its goal?
  • Does it have any quirks?
  • What do others say about it?
  • What does its best friend say about it?
  • What does its rival say about it?
  • What flaws and strengths does it have?
  • If put into a perilous situation, how would it react?
  • If put into a pleasant situation, how would it react?

The great thing is once you start answering these questions, more arrive. Pretty soon, you have a full character. 

This post is based on opinion and personal experience; it is not to be taken as professional advice.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Got any writing questions? Ask away in the comments! 

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Confessions of a Writer 9/13/18

I don’t know about any other writers/authors out there, but I feel bad about leaving my characters in dangerous situations for weeks at a time while I go through writer’s block or am busy with life in general.

It kind of makes you feel like you’re being haunted. Even though you’re doing other things, part of your mind is still on the story and you’re trying to finish it. Plus, you’ve grown to like your characters and so you feel kind of like a jerk. You’re like, “Here, Character A, run down this dead end and get yourself pinned against a wall while zombies slowly approach you…Have fun, I’ll see you in a week.”

It’s kind of frustrating sitting a meeting and thinking, “Come on, end already! I got to get home before my protagonist gets eaten by a griffin!” And kind of fun at the same time.

Though it would be funny to use that as an excuse not to go into work.

“Hey, Boss, I can’t come in to work today.”

“Why not? Are you sick?”

“No. John’s been tied to a chair by international terrorists and they are torturing information out of him.”

“Oh my gosh! Have you called the police?!”

“Yeah. I did that in chapter three but they wouldn’t listen.”

“Wait. What?”

And so that brings us to another important question. If you’re characters were real and you just left them in some situation how do you think they would react?

What I’m saying is that the action pauses and they’re just left there. For example, the zombies are approaching the hero and then you have to go eat lunch. The zombies would stop walking towards the hero. It’d be like some director yelled, “Cut!” The characters are still alive, but they just have nothing to do until you return. Would they get mad at you? Would the character pull out their cell phone and take selfies with them posing with whatever the danger is?