Character Process

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In fiction writing, a character drives impulse, they drive other characters. There are some things some characters will not say or do. Simple.

For me, developing character is such an important component in writing, especially fiction writing. Have you ever read a novel where the main character simply falls flat or says a line that just doesn’t seem fitting? That can be remedied through character development.

During my process for the Last Consort, there were moments when I had to rely on my character development to determine language, movement and relationships between the characters. Had I not clearly created character before writing scenes, I would have had a more difficult time determining the appropriate actions.

I’ve included two of my favorite tips for character development

Histories Used as Background Story

Each character has a bio. My process includes the creation of a detailed history not exposed to the reader. I take the time to create a timeline, childhoods, likes and dislikes, fears and even a birthday for the character. I know where they have come from and continue to add on to character history during the writing process. My desire is that some of that history can play through the text.

 Question and Answer Session

Another practice in creating character involves a question and answer session with the character. It might seem strange but if you are writing fiction, an exercise such as the question answer session, where the writer simply asks a question and then they allow the character to answer back is a little haunting and out of the norm, I admit. It sounds like a séance. But honestly, it is an amazing exercise that helps to create multi-level characters. When the writer knows what their character would or wouldn’t do, it greatly assists with scenes.

Have you written characters before? I’d love to hear if you have a similar or different process.

Send your comments!

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