This month we’re celebrating you, our fearless readers, by offering 30 days of reading, writing and networking tips. On October 31st we’ll conclude the festivities by giving one lucky reader a copy of the 2011 Writer’s Market book and a seriously amazing goodie bag. Learn how to enter here.
Tip #28: Character Development Blog Roundup
Today’s tip is all about character development. This is an especially relevant topic for those who, like me, are preparing for National Novel Writing Month.
Although I mentioned this in Tip #19 (Read Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog) it is good enough to mention again. Elizabeth has a list of all of her character development posts. It’s a great series, and one worth bookmarking. (You’ll need it!)
Literary agent Nathan Bransford has a few great posts on character development as well. Start with these:
- Sympathetic vs. Unsympathetic Characters
- What do your characters want?
- Character and Plot: Inseperable!
A) Decide on a character Archetype that will create the most conflict/tension.
B) Using your character’s archetype, dig deeper—create a collage if you’re visual, or type up your own Q&A about your character. You can also use those stilly questionnaires that teens like to forward to each other.
C) SHOW us your character, don’t tell us. For instance, if your character is shy/awkward, please, please do not have her think, “I do not feel comfortable in crowds. I would like to avoid them. I am a shy person.” Instead, have her wipe her sweaty palms on her jeans. Let her stomach lurch when the teacher calls on her in class.
D) Use the plot to your advantage. For the character above—shove her in front of an audience. Let’s see how hard you can push before it’s too much.
The other character development resource I consider a must-read is literary agent Mary Kole’s video for WriteOnCon, Avoiding Character Stereotypes. This video is amazing. I’ve used it to help develop my characters for my NaNoWriMo project, and it has made a huge difference. (Plus, the video is fun to watch. Mary has mad Rubik’s Cube skills.)
Do you have any character development resources you recommend?