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Friday, July 1, 2022

How I Develop My Characters in Books

   Many writers put an inordinate amount of time and energy into character development―the name, place of origin, occupation, etc. I get it because we as authors want our stories to be as realistic as possible. However, I don’t put too much thought into how I introduce my fictional characters to a particular story. I’ve come across so many different people in my life―people from grade school, high school, college, church, family, in-laws, childhood friends, coworkers, etc.―that I have an overabundance of personalities to choose from. I also like to mix and mingle diverse character traits of people I know and create my cast that way.

Thug Life Gangsta

     For example, Horace Shingles is one of the main characters from the Quad Life Series, and he’s a combination of highly intelligent but extremely hedonistic. One of my best friends in college had traits similar to Horace’s, so it wasn’t very difficult to develop his character in each book. Another example is one of my favorite characters, Gary Maxwell (Max) from the book Nefarious. I portrayed him as a sullen and calculating, cold-blooded killer who was also a family-oriented man who loved his wife and infant son. His duality was something that intrigued me, and I challenged myself to see if I could pull it off and make Max a believable character in this series.

    Character development is one of the most important aspects of writing and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Conversely, I believe that an author can ruin a book if bogged down by too many intricate details that, in turn, can seem frivolous to the average reader. I’m an organic writer who goes with the flow, so the technique of outlining every detail doesn’t work for me.

Related Posts:

Should an Author's Main Character Be Flawed? 

Drama Sells When It Comes to Writing Fiction Novels 

Authors Must Do Research Before Setting the Scene of a Book 

Does Your Fictional Character Have a Secret? 

Writing Organically vs. Writing With an Outline 

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