Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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Why You Need to Do This Exercise
This is continuation of the article "15 Questions to Ask to Write More Compelling Characters, which you can find here).
Making strong characters is not about creating physically or magically powerful characters, unless you're writing a superhero or magician story. It's about character growth throughout the plot, compelling backstories, and a distinct personality, among other things.
Before we begin, there are two essential points to remember:
Everything about your character will connect to other facets of their personality. The values, opportunities, desires, and so on of your characters are influenced by even the most fundamental demographic information.
The values, opportunities, desires, and so on of your characters are influenced by even the most fundamental demographic information.
Character growth occurs throughout your novel; there is no need to reveal all of these aspects about your character in the first few chapters.
Even though this list is divided into categories for easy organization, creating a character is not a straightforward process. As you draw ties between your character's traits and decisions, objectives and traumas, and more, things will get a little tangled. But be sure to have fun with the process!
Personality and Beliefs
Goals and Motivation
Stories have broad plots, but what drives them are the decisions and desires of your characters.
What your characters want and need will shape their identities and the actions they make throughout your narrative. Here are some questions to better define their goals and motivations.
Conclusion: Putting it All Together
All of this leads to the internal and external pressures that make stories and characters interesting. Our inner thoughts and feelings affect what we do in the in the outside world, and things in the outside world can change what we believe about ourselves.
At their core, stories are really about what it means to be human and how to deal with problems like fear, grief, loss, and more. This is especially true of sci-fi and fantasy.
The first step to exploring this internal push and pull is to think about all of your character's parts—his or her story, personality, goals, desires, and dreams—and how they affect their decisions. This is how character development happens on the page, and this is how you'll make characters that readers will want to read about.