I've been thinking of character development recently.
When I start a book it's most often a scene that comes to me first. Sometimes that scene is used and sometimes it's not. But the characters in that scene often have secrets, and often I don't know what those secrets are until page 100 or 200. The important question for to ask is then "Why?".
You ask that question like a three year-old would ask it. You ask it until you've gotten down to the deepest darkest secrets and still sometimes your characters have the ability to surprise you.
Characters are just like real people they are not meant to be cardboard cutouts, or stereotypes. You want the reader to identify with them, and if not, then to understand what drives them, what makes them tic.
Every character has a facade they present to the world. It's your job as the author, to make your reader to want to see below the surface. By offering tidbits of information, whether it be an abnormal response to the physical or a moment of illogical fear.
So, I ask you now, who is your favorite character?
I agree, "Why?" is an invaluable writing tool. My favorite characters are the ones you keep looking for when your in line at the bank or the grocery store. The ones who live beyond the pages of the book.
I guess you're a pantser then, huh? My all time favorite character is Scarlet O'Hara. What a meaty character!
Hey Blue...I'll go for the less literary world and plump for Peter Parker AKA The Amazing Spider-Man. No matter how many times he's been knocked back or knocked down or much worse, Spidey keeps on giving his all to protect those who can't protect themselves - for a public that has often been less than gracious. 'With great power comes great responsibility' - what a message for real-life people to take heed of! I also love the character development in the Belgariad/Malloreon series of novels by David Eddings...I really feel like I can identify with them and care about what happens to them in the books!
So true! I love how you say that you start with a scene and although you may or may not use that scene it is still an important scene. I completely agree and have that so true in my own writing.
Ah yes, the 3-year-old "why?" question. It stumps me all the time but you do have to keep pestering yourself with it. It's the only way.
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