13 January 2017

Character Development

Written by Sarah-Maree

These are just more writing tips I’ve learned along the way. If you’re not a writer, no worries! You might still find this interesting or insightful and maybe even a bit humorous ;)

It’s important to make sure that if you have a main character in your story (a hero or heroine or a protagonist for those looking for the official and totally boring term) that they don’t get shorthanded. I don’t just mean that they get smacked down or suffer, I mean not making them focus by giving too much detail or attention to a sidekick or by giving someone else the better lines. In fact, it’s great having them get smacked around and making life miserable for them. I call this: character development - feel free to picture me waving my hand and a magical rainbow forming as you say this in your head. I know I did.

Moving on! Unfortunately, focusing on other character’s is an easy thing to do. I’ve ignored my heroine before and given the better lines, the better descriptions even, to other side characters and even to the sidekick. Why? Because if I don’t build them up, they won’t get torn apart by an editor or by fans later. Writing is difficult in that a lot of the artist goes into the characters, and especially the main one. Of course, not putting enough into a character makes them weak and difficult for readers to relate to.

Now, while it’s important to focus on making the hero of the story as awesome as possible, it’s equally important not to ignore the evil doer the hero is supposed to destroy. Just as it’s easy to try and shield a hero from critique it’s also easy to try and shield them from getting their ass whooped. Yet, shielding them from getting hurt also makes for a lame story (unless it’s One Punch Man, because that is just awesomeness on a whole different level! And it works because he has endearing character flaws). Now, there’s no problem in having a hero get stronger and stronger and eventually become seriously BA, but without the build up, the beat downs, the training, the failures, the challenges that are actually challenging, the story as a whole can really suffer.

So, next time you’re writing a hero you want to be the star of the show, make sure to show them a little love and give them more than just the scraps, but don’t be afraid to smack ‘em down either! Now then, back to doing some character development.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

About the Author

I may not be the nerdiest nerd you’ve ever met, but I still like to think of myself as a lover of science, video games, and of course, books.


Read plenty, read often

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