Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Character Growth and Development
You've chosen the characters for your story and you have the right number to sustain the plot. But some how they seem static. There are ways to bring them to vivid life and to enchant your readers into wanting to know more about these characters. But how?
Put them under pressure. Give them a stressful situation. Plunge them into the action of the story. Sounds like a lot but as you develop your plot, bring the characters into the action.
Change the static character into one who is developing. Characters need to grow, especially in a novel. Let them learn by experience, just as real people do. But characters aren't real. As the writer, you must invest part of yourself in the character development. This brings up a point some writers think and even say. "My hero just took over the story and changed the direction." Did they really or did the writer become so invested in this character by learning about them that the direction of the story changes.
I know I've had this kind of epiphany and suddenly I know though I sketched out the plot the direction to reach the end has changed because I learned something about the people in my stories that made the path toward the end take a turn. Sometimes this is good and sometimes I have to go back and return these characters to the original idea. What has happened is my investment in the character has made them grow. But if they grow beyond the structure of the plot then I have to go back and return this character to the story line. Or I'll end up with general chaos rather than a story.
The character grows and develops in the writer's mind and knowing them certainly brings them to life.