How to develop a character..

Hey guys! A lot of people have been trying to write stories lately but I’ve been noticing a HUGE lack of character development. Now this can simply be due to the lack of knowing  how to develop a character, or simply not caring enough to actually put effort into characters. After doing extensive research as well as using my own personal experiences of writing short stories and mini novels I have found a photo that perfectly explains how to create an amazing character. I will be uploading the picture after this article but first I will explain it.

First you must remember the 5 P’s:

  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Personal
  • Personality
  • Practices

When you try to create a character the first thing you need to do is think about the physical aspects of the person or animal you are trying to create. What do they look like? What is their hair color and eye color? Are they young or old, girl or boy, short or tall? Is your character sick or are they completely invincible with no possible way to contract a physical ailment? What is their skin tone like and what is their race and which nationality do they identify with? While your contemplating that don’t forget about their sexuality are they straight, bi-sexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, gender fluid, or transsexual? (forgive me if I missed any I know that there are probably more ideas that people identify with I just don’t know about all of them, feel free to comment if I missed any). In addition to that think about their flaws and their assets. Are they the most beautiful creature to ever walk this earth or are they the most hideous thing alive. Physical attributes are a huge part of character development because without this a reader has nothing to base their imaginative character off of. A reader creates a picture in their head of what this person is like, and what they look like is a huge part of this image.

Next is the psychological aspect of what this person is like. What do they do in their spare time and what are their habits? Do they bite their nails when they are nervous or sharpen a blade on their knife while plotting revenge? Do they prefer a good book and a cup of hot chocolate over video games and a box of pizza. Also, are they a total hot-head and always getting into fights or the total opposite? Is your character the zen pacifist or not, that is something you definitely have to consider while creating your person. Are they a very happy and peppy person or a total downer, you want to make sure this aspect also matches their temperament. Your character will not, I repeat will NOT make sense if you have a very peppy person be a total hot-head, that’s like making the leader of a tree hugger club start fights everyday in class, it just doesn’t mesh well. Next is their attitude and this one also goes hand in hand with their temperament and happiness, typically a happy person will have a positive attitude, and a negative person will generally be a down in the dumps hot-headed more likely to through the first punch type of character. In the psychological aspect of a character you also have to take into account their intelligence, self-knowledge and their unconscious aspects of their mind. Are they super smart and really in tune with their bodies and minds? Are they super dumb but weirdly intellectual about relationships? You have to consider these things a lot because they will start to give your character depth and a more rounded feeling to them. If you are writing a paranormal book are they casting spells in their sleep that they don’t know about or sleep walking into parallel dimensions and is there a reason behind it? These things will give your reader a sense of completeness. They will feel as though they really can connect with the character that you have just created.

Next is the personal aspect of the character. This is their background such as their family, education, childhood, where they were born, what they were taught to believe in and their values. After you’ve established that you have to think about their friends, the people they work with if they have a job and what their job is if they have one. Their religious beliefs also play a part in who they are and what their moral standing is as well as what kind of lifestyle they live. Their wealth is also a big part of who they are. It determines their worldly possessions as well as their living conditions. Is your person married and if so what is their family and home-life like? This will also translate into their hobbies, if they are a single teenager they will probably enjoy dates, girls nights, and probably some time of hobby that allows them to have their alone time. Whereas if they are dating someone, that person will also play a part in what is happening in their life and the activities that they take part in. The personal aspect of your character will make them more relatable to your reader, for instance if your character is someone who likes to take photographs and your reader enjoys that as well it will allow them to make a personal connection to that character encouraging them to fall in love with the person even more. It connects them on a level that allows the reader put image themselves in the book instead of a character. This makes the book even more enjoyable for the reader.

4th is personality, this is a key part in the development of a character. A character’s hopes and dreams can give an insight as to who they are and what their true intentions are. That said their denial to face certain things and fears can be very informational as well. A night terror can provide insights as to their background. Their thoughts, resentments, and memories  will help create a picture of what goes on in their head. It gives the reader a way to peek into the mind of the character they are reading about.

Lastly is practises, meaning what they wear, eat, buy, do, where they work and what they say. All these things will help create the finishing touches on your character. Their tone of voice can say a lot about their intentions and can show a person’s true meaning. Their choice in foods can show if they are health conscious or if they aren’t.

All of these things here are the basics on how to create the best possible character you can. Follow these steps to make people fall in love with your works. Make sure you plan out your characters before you even start writing so that way you at least have an idea of the kind of story you want to creative. Now I know things change and the story starts to take on a life of its own and that is totally okay you don’t have to keep your characters exactly the same throughout the progression because characters that grow and learn are the ones that are the most relatable because people aren’t static everyone is constantly growing and changing. People change people and the same should be said for your story. That said good luck and get writing!!!

 

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