The topic for today is developing realistic characters. Recently, I was reading a new book that came out this year. It was a young adult book, and I loved the first book. However, I felt the second book was lacking, a lot. As I was reading it, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Something is missing, but what?’
Usually, I read book reviews on Goodreads to see what readers enjoyed and what they didn’t. As I was reading the reviews for the book (I won’t give the title because the book was bad, so bad), it clicked – the characters were lacking.
Thus, today I wanted to write about developing good characters.
So, what is involved in developing realistic characters?
The best words I can think of is, “Breathing life into them and making them seem real.”
A good character is unique, with traits and attributes bringing out personality. For example, when I was designing Assan, I kept thinking how I could bring out his personality through his action. Assan is a suave merman, who has very low tolerance for people who annoy him. He’ll often growl, just swim away while someone is talking and demand control.
His opposite, Elena, is often shy and will lower her eyes when she is uncomfortable. Elena will speak about what food she likes and her dreams for the future. All these aspects make the characters relatable and unique. Good characters are flawed, so please, don’t make your characters perfect. Well, unless they are conceited. Anyway, I hope this post was helpful!
To other writers, how do you develop your characters?