For me, the best kind of story is one with rich, well-developed characters that become more real the farther I get into the story. One of the greatest compliments I can get as a writer is from a reader who reacts to my characters. They say they loved or hated them, are happy with their lives, or are angry when I torture them. I want my readers to feel my characters, to relate to them.
Whether you’re writing original fiction or fanfiction (I do both and will talk about both throughout the series), character creation and development is–or should be–a very personal thing. The overarching theme of the articles in this series is this: the better you know your characters, the better the reader will.
Literature is an art form, and art is subjective. Every writer will have his own process, and he will develop it over time with experience and education. This is my process. I would like to call these articles tutorials, but keeping this in mind, it’s more along the lines of advice. Take it if it resonates with you. If it doesn’t, find someone whose process does resonate and take their advice. Nobody is a lone wolf.
I refer to real people in the series, a few of them celebrities, but I don’t use their names because I believe a reader should have his own vision of a character. That said, if you would like to know whom I’m talking about, message me or comment, and I’ll be glad to share in private.
NOTE: I use “he” as my go-to pronoun because it’s easier than alternating between genders, and using “them” for singulars grates on me.
Questions, comments, constructive criticism, and your own thoughts and ideas are always welcome, because let’s face it: I’m not Stephen King. But be warned: I will respond in kind, so be nice. Also, if you have some helpful links about character development that you would like to share, I would love to see them, and I will add them to the series.
Backstories and Emotional Connection