Have you ever read a story where the protagonist feels kinda boring?
I bet you did. Then what was the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe the smartest move will be to close the book and move to another one. Because flat characters could screw a whole book even if it's over 500 pages.
The main success element of a fictional story is character development. The word may seem a little bit ambiguous, and that's why I'd like to explain what do I mean when I say character development by offering a short character development definition.
Character development is the methodology that a writer follows to build fictional characters with personality, backstory, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Thus, the writer must illustrate how a character will change throughout the story's journey. A good writer must have the ability to manipulate a character's emotions as well as their motives behind a decision.
Take the story of Harry Potter as an example. JK Rowling did some great work with character development rules so readers find it hard to forget about Harry Potter's characters. No to mention that Harry Potter's characters are still everyone's best characters. Only thanks to good use of character development.
You can also take a bit of your time to analyze your own environment and see which people are more interesting than others. You'd likely be more curious about a renewed character than a dull character. And from here you can see the importance of good fictional characters
In this article, we will show you how to develop a character who will abide in your readers’ minds long after they turn the last page. Let's dig in. I'm all hoping it will be a fun journey to follow till the end.
# Personality Traits
Nowadays, people are obsessed with identifying the type of personality they have. All they need to do is a little search for the type of personality on Google Search, pass the test, and get the result. I've got INTJ :).
In fact, even fictional character has their own personality type. You can even write on Google search intj characters, and you'll get a spadeful of results.
The personality of a character is the core of any novel. It shows how the character must behave throughout the story as long as its fluctuations.
Let me give you an example of a strong girl to clarify what I mean by personality.
"She is a strong girl. She always manages to do things on her own and succeed. She got the mind of a leader. Everyone is afraid of her. She prevail to make everyone respect her, and she had always believed in herself. Now, you must be assuming that such a character should always maintain a solid composure. She won't cry in front of others even when she's on the urge to collapse. She will never call for help even when she's lost."
Surely, you're not intending to make her weak in front of love for example after you've shown the reader all the difficulties she suffered in the past. She's a strong girl, then make her behave like a strong girl.
When you deviate from what a character should be, you're creating what we call chaotic good characters. They can be good fictional characters, and with great purposes but they don't have a specific identity.
Please try to avoid this mistake. Otherwise, the story will lose its meaning.
Another trick you can do is to apply a strong character developpement by making a character switch from a weak personality to becoming a strong-minded character. Such a transition may be frequent in the world of novels as well as cinema. But it never fails to entertain people.
See, now I'm giving some representations of a strong personality. Go and reflect it on all other characters. But don't make them all strong, that's considered a monotonous thing to the reader.
# Physic Description
When I started writing for the first time, I avoided describing my fictional characters as much as I can. I wasn't ready to convert features into words. It seemed painfully hard.
Unfortunately, it was painfully hard.
Look, you can always dare and use words from your imagination to describe someone's body. But if you are always struggling with the right words, you can just get some help from the example below.
"He became handsome with his rounded face, his full lips. When he stares at me with his black eyes, I felt like a sword has just penetrated my heart. His brown skin was nothing but another galaxy that floods me in it. Can a person be this perfect?"
This was a simple example of how to do the right description for your character.
As a remark, I have to warn you that describing characters is an important phase of character development but don't try to fill a whole page with nothing but crowded descriptions. Otherwise, your reader will start feeling bored and maybe give up on the story.
As a reasonable solution for good character development, you should only describe the important things such as body weight, hair color, skin color, and Facial features. It's not advisable to write a whole paragraph just to describe a character's clothing for example.
If you want to dig into details, I'd be pleased to suggest you the link below:
Related: It is hard to write a novel?
# Character's Past
If you've read enough books, I'm sure you've landed on that one where the writer is revealing a character's past slowly. Maybe you found yourself emphasizing the character and forgiving all her faults because of the painful past she's survived.
When you write, try always to evoke the reader inside of you, because he's the one who will provide you with the requirements to compose a good story.
Try to make the past of personalities as meaningful as possible. But don't ignore to keep the link between the person and his past.
If you want to impress your reader, try always to play on the character's past. It always hit badly in the heart.
If I awaken the reader in me, he will tell me that I always fall in love with the characters that survived sad pasts. But they try to surpass it and live well. It is also an encouragement for the reader to try to forget his depressing past and start a new journey.
Past is a powerful factor for good character development. If you know how to make good use of it, then you've just rocked it. When you create a character that adopted a strong personality after enduring a difficult past, then readers will remain eager to discover how did this character manage to overcome har
If I ask you what does make a person unique, you'll certainly think about goals and visions. You have goals, and you live for them, you want to achieve them and feel proud of yourself. So do your characters. They need something to live for, Don't forget that they're humans too.
This is something that needs to be clear before I even talk about it. You're not going to write characters without them having goals.
You have to write into your notebook the goal set for every character. What does he want out of the story?
MAYBE getting his revenge from the one who killed his family, getting the job of his dream, traveling somewhere, etc.
# Things That Make Them Angry:
This way, the reader will understand and will be joyful at the same time.
It is funny to write what does make a character angry. But don't just go and said:He is a tall man, etc. And he is always angry about..
When you draw a scheme, you organize your idea, the characters, scenes to come, development of personalities. As a result, when you're about to write, you won't find difficulties because you've already developed pictures in your scheme.
All you have to do is to describe the events using some sweet words. No, the reader would feel like he is reading, and your mission is to make him live it, not just reading it.
For example, someone has turned off the light. Then the character starts shouting and screaming and berating everyone around just because someone has turned the lights off!!
This way, the reader will understand and will be joyful at the same time
Doesn't matter how a person appears. Every one of us has his own weakness. I'm sure you don't want to create perfect characters, you're judging your story with failure before even begin reading it. Who likes perfect characters?
Here is a funny secret, readers like to read about persons with flaws, feel relieved that they're not the only ones with defects.
No matter how strong the person you're creating is, you have to set for him some point of weakness so the story became tenser and more motivating.
The simplest example I can think of at this moment is that of a strong woman weakened by a man. You know, that thing of how women never got control over their feelings.
Another one is about a gangster who is afraid of the silliest things ever. INSECTS!! Looks like a funny story to write.
You can write also about social anxiety, lack of trust, and naivety. You can even choose your own weakness and give it to one of your characters
It just depends on the genre of the story you're writing.
# How They Treat Others
You have to specify the way your character treats his friends or his family.
Is he arrogant? Well, probably readers are going to hate him, but in a lovely way. If you read six of crows, you'd understand what I mean.
If he's nice to others, then people are going to like him. But who knows, maybe he's about to turn to be some kind of an asshole. And then people hate him.
This is writing. The more you are unexpected, the more you're hitting the reader in the gut.
You possess needs. Right?
Then, you can assume that the characters you're creating should have needs too. They're humans too, never forget that.
Ask yourself a simple question. What are my needs?
I need money, a job, a car, the love of my parents, friends, a new computer, etc.
You think of something that is going to make you happy once you receive it. The character you're creating isn't much different. He needs something too.
He wants to kill someone, kiss a woman, marry for some business, get a new contract, get his revenge, etc.
You can add some trivial needs if you want to make the story funny.
Let me live, love,
and say it well in good sentences
You can take a breath of relief now. We're done. But you still have work ahead of you.
Don't just finish this blog and shut your computer. Please, open a new word file, and make that list of characters that you've been too lazy to create. Trust me, once you type the first word, ideas flow on your mind instinctively.
You'll notice that list isn't as boring as you thought it would be. On the contrary, it will help you with the development of the story, and the relation between characters, etc.