How To Develop A Character In Your Story

If you’re into fiction writing, you probably know how important your characters are. Character development is one of the most interesting things about fiction writing. There is generally no thumb rule when it comes to sketching your characters. However, tips never do any harm!

Let’s name our character – Jimmy.

1. Describe physical attributes

Describing physical features is like spoon-feeding imagination to your reader! You’re giving them an idea of how the person actually looks like, so give them as many details as possible. What kind of clothes does Jimmy wear? Describe his hair. Describe his eyes. Describe how he eats, how he sleeps, how he talks, everything! This forms an image about the person. And once you’ve somewhat established how he looks like, your reader will take it ahead.

2. Talk about their past

Jimmy didn’t just appear! Write about his childhood, his first crush, his school and everything relevant in his history. This gives your character some depth and adds more emotions. A reader will then connect to Jimmy and will know him like a childhood friend. This helps them to even map certain attributes of Jimmy to his actions.

‘Ah! Jimmy would totally do this.’
‘I knew Jimmy would say that!’

You get the point?

3. Live the character

Get into Jimmy’s shoes. Be Jimmy. If you cannot see the world through his eyes, your readers will fail too. While you’re writing dialogues, make sure they connect to the above-mentioned points or you will end up confusing your reader. For example, if Jimmy had an emotional connection with his grandparents, he would be considerate while talking to someone elderly. He wouldn’t go like,

“Get out, you oldie.”

Sounds absurd, isn’t it?

He would instead be, “Can I help you with something, Ms. Grues?”
This is just an example, though. You can keep it absurd too.

4. Describe them through actions

Don’t give it out straight all the time! Your character becomes boring them. Describe their qualities through actions, incidents in the past etc. This is a way of giving an idea about the character indirectly. Trust me, this keeps it interesting.

For example:

If Jimmy likes cookies, don’t just write

“Jimmy loved cookies.”

Instead, write something like –

“Jimmy promised to eat just one cookie, but ended up finishing the whole jar!”

5. Keep it real

The most important one!
A lot of people struggle while developing their characters to make them as interesting and exciting as possible. That’s where they go wrong. Jimmy has to be effortlessly real. Think of him as someone you know. How would you describe Jimmy? Think of it like this. If you had to introduce him to a friend to give your friend an exact idea of he is, how would you go about it? You would just go on and on to make your friend familiar with him, right? A character sketch is exactly like that! No rocket science.

Do let me know if these tips helped!

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