Elana, Jen and Alex for my blog topic today and also welcome all of you taking part in The Great Blogging Experiment. I'm stop 132 if you're following in numerical order.
When I sat down to write this post I expected it to be easy-peasy. After all, character development is my thing. I've got so many people in my head screaming at me on a daily basis to let them out onto the page that I sometimes talk to them more than my own family. (No, not out loud. Well, not lately.) But it really is difficult to describe what makes a character compelling.
A character's appeal is probably different for everyone, and dependent on each reader's life experiences. However, I find three things are critical when developing a memorable character:
1. You must be able to put yourself in a character's shoes.
Whether your character is a pig living on a farm with a gifted spider, or the reclusive owner of a chocolate factory, a reader has to be able to relate to them. Everyone has problems and your characters should be no different.
2. Your character has to want something so bad, they would do almost
anything to get it.
This doesn't have to be something physical, although that could be a starting point. More often it's emotionally driven: a desire for love, power, or simply acceptance.
3. Give your character an arc.
Nobody wants to read about a character that never changes. Even the good girl who treats everyone like an angel, or the bad boy who would rather spit on you than look at you get BORING if they don't grow during the course of a story. This change can be subtle or dramatic, just make sure it's included.
For me, character is the best part of a story. It's what keeps me turning the pages into the wee hours even though I know I'll feel like crap the next day. It's what I remember about a book and hold within my heart like a good friend.
Thanks for stopping by my little piece of the blogosphere and don't forget to head over to the next stop. I'll be right behind you (not in a weird, creepy sort of way though).
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