View Full Version : Character Development
02-19-2010, 07:53 AM
I am having trouble with this certain aspect of writing a novel. I have not educated myself in writing, and consider myself an amateur at best, but the one thing that stops me from a blank page is character development. It seems the closer I get to introducing the protaganist or any sideline character, the more I become uncertain on how to get his plot rolling. I understand that a certain amount of information should be given during the initial introduction of the character, but am not sure as to what to leave in or out.
This has become my barrier, and has held me back for months now. I have continued to write outlines and the plot has become well aware. I need the substance of this book. The appealing factor. Any help, I am in need. This would be my first attempt at writing and am in need of breaking this boundary.
02-19-2010, 08:40 AM
Hmm, well, there's different ways to do it.
Why don't you try writing an introduction for a character--doesn't have to be one of your own, even, and can be really random, really terrible, really cliche--and we can let you know what we'd do to help fix it? Or what we'd do different, or keep the same?
One thing you probably don't want to do is establish a character so completely at their first appearance. For reasons that it may sound like too much in too little time, but also because it creates a limit for yourself. You'll have confines--your character won't have a chance to develop and grow as you write your story, because there will be too many expectations set up from him at the beginning.
So if you feel you really need to set your characters in stone from the beginning, and that's what's blocking you, then that could be a problem leading to your block.
02-20-2010, 03:09 PM
Well, I completely agree with Amour. But what helps me is to think first of how you want your character to be. You know, their personality. Oftentimes, I make a character that is completely opposite of my own personality. But you can't think about a situation the way YOU would. You have to think about it the way the character does, which opens up a whole new perspective. For me, after I've figured the personality out, I base the looks off of the kind of person they are. You could make them look completely predictable, in other words, make them look their part. Or, you could also make them look the opposite of their personality. For example, the sweetest person you ever met had piercings all over and wore chains. This would also be easy for you, because you have the plot figured out, but you should try to find a character that plays the role perfectly for your plot, if that makes sense. If they were to lead an army in a battle, they would need to be knowledgeable, quick-witted, courageous, and wise. Sometimes, I also base my characters off of people I know in real life. If an author deeply hates someone with the intensity of a thousand burning desert suns, they could create the character in a manner so that the reader would hate him/her as well. I'm sorry if this isn't the best advice, I've still got a lot to learn in writing myself. I wish you the best of luck!
02-27-2010, 02:46 PM
I used to have the same problem. I agree with the others, though. Just try different ways to get the book rolling until you find one that keeps it rolling smoothly and gets it to the plot. After a while of introducing different parts of your character's personality, you actually get to know your character better, kind of like getting acquainted with a friend. I know this sounds crazy, but it actually works. The minute you realize "Okay, last time, I introduced the character this way...", you see that you're getting to know your character, thus developing it in your head. And once you find a way of beginning the story that doesn't sound bland and gets the ball rolling, you'll have everything you need to know about your character right there, like knowing a friend's life story, putting it on paper for them. Does that make any sense?
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