Character Development

Character Development

A challenge in writing..

by Thomas Stephan on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, then you’ll be very familiar with the idea of character development. It’s drummed into us as one of the most important things. Without character, we don’t really have a novel, or a short story, or a piece of writing, in general. I mean, I know that we can have plot — driven stories, but without characters, we don’t really give the reader anyone to identify with, or root for.

But it’s not as simple as having a character. Anyone can invent a character, but as writers, we are expected to inject an entire personality into that character’s mind. We need to be creating characters who are realistic. They need to have flaws, and foibles. They need to have strengths and quirks. They need to be developed almost as much as we are, as human beings.

The thing is, it’s not always easy to develop a character. Sometimes, as a writer, we may have ideas of where we want the story to go, and we might try and shape the character in the aim of moving the story forward, but in reality, it doesn’t always work out as simply and neatly as that.

At least, it doesn’t for me… if it does for you, please share your secret ;). I have been having a series of minor disagreements with my main character for about the last week and a half. We’ve been plodding on with the story, but it’s been hard going as I try and write words, which she then informs me are incorrect. So I go back and try to say things in a way that is acceptable to her, which, in turn takes away from the story that I planned to write.

In the end, I guess what I’m saying is that it comes down to compromise. We reached a stale mate, and whichever way one of us moved, the other mirrored, and we seemed to be locking horns in a never ending battle.

So, yesterday, I sat down, and basically tried to push my views to the side, to allow her to tell me hers. I know all of this sounds crazy, but it’s worked, and I’ve written more so far today, than I have in over a week, so I’m chalking that up as a success.

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


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