My class “ Character Development” started Monday night. The class was amazing and I have six more to go. Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as an avid reader, I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.
If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like ,while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. Well that is what they say right? So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read
So the instructor asked how strong were our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format my professor suggested was very simple and something I am sure most of you are all aware of.
Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?
Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how did it happen to this other character that is in the book? The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.
So in my mind I mentally went through the two books I am trying to get published and did the math so to speak to see if the characters in those books matched up to the rigor of those six questions.
Fortunately they did, and I did not even know I was doing it correctly. I was happily surprised. For in those two books the main characters I broke down to the core. Not just the physical aspects of what they looked liked. But I talked about their character: weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. I started each character from birth and worked my way up. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.
Each class I will share what I have learned, in hopes I can pass on some insight to others so we can all somehow improve our craft.