November is National Novel Writing Month and in honor or preparation for many of you writing a 50,000 words novel in one month, I’m taking part in #ProjectWriteTube which a collaboration of YouTubers who are talking about the preparation of NaNoWriMo in the month of October. My video/blog post is just one of many created by other authors, so to watch all the YouTube videos, be sure to check out the #ProjectWriteTube playlist on YouTube:
Miss Desiraye Williams from the WordNerds is visiting us today! If you don’t know who the WordNerds are, be sure to check out their links below, I promise you’ll love their videos! Wondering where I am on this fine Tuesday? Well then hope on over here: http://bit.ly/2oZu9Qv
What makes a story? The plot or the characters? It can go either way, but if you’re lucky than the two elements work together to create a gripping novel for your reads. In drafting my third novel I’ve fallen in love with character profiling. I’ve done it in the past, but I was never a fan. The prompts are great to help you figure out who your characters are, but they don’t always help you move forward in plot. Instead you end up with a lot of backstory you now feel obligated to fit into your story.
Fan of Pinterest? I’ve got a board just for character development! Find me here!
I was able to come up with a few prompts that personally helped me develop my characters for novel #3, but it did more than just that. The questions below should help you brainstorm essential traits in your characters that will drive the story forward. Maybe you’ll answer the question and realize Sammy has a lot of attitude. What is she going to do to piss everyone else off in the story? Or what about Nancy? She had a divorce. What happened to her ex-husband? Is he going to show up again? Rocky and Willow hang out a lot. They’ve best friends obviously, but how did they meet? What the one thing that could tear them apart?
See what I’m going far? Go really behind the scenes. Shack things up a bit. Sit down with one of your characters now and ask them a few of these questions:
What’s their biggest fear? What’s the one thing that will tear them apart?
Got the answer? You should probably work it into the story somehow.
What are they trying to accomplish?
Let them get really close to accomplishing it. Then, you know, take it away.
How are the associated with other characters?
I know Rock and Willow met at a bar, but what is it about their two personalities that brought them together?
What past event has caused them to be the person they are today?
Is Sammy a bitch because of something that happened in high school? Maybe something that ruined her reputation? Now what if that little incident popped up again? Now that would be fun…
What’s their tipping point?
Make them reach their tipping point.
And of course you should probably figure out what your character looks like, but that’s not as exciting.
Character development is HUGE when it comes to writing a story. Sometimes it will come easily to a writer while other times it may take a little work. A realistic character develops as it goes through events and that is the key to a believable story. So how do we do this? Well you have to get to know your character. It means writing and re-writing. Write down facts about your character and get to know their personality. And if you’re doing things right the personality will come naturally. The character will be making the decisions in the story, and not you.