Hannah Richardson reports:
"How your characters develop is essential to bringing your readers into your story and keeping them engaged in the plot. Readers will be more invested in your story if they can visualize what your characters look like and understand where they are coming from. Key elements of a detailed description include the character's appearance, personality, perspective and motivating goals...[W]hen you are developing your characters, physical appearance, name, where they're from and what they do are some of the first details to select. As you think about naming your character, think about meanings, origins and derivations of different names. Also consider any nicknames or pet names that could strengthen the relationship between your character and other characters. While your character's profession will be a basic element in your plot, think about how your character's appearance will affect the action...When planning appearance, imagine your character's ethnicity, cultural background and any medical information that may affect your plot...Beyond a name, a character's personality begins to develop as he reacts to events and circumstances. These reactions may not only be to significant plot twists, but also to everyday life...Plan free-writing or other exercises to fully explore how your character will respond to situations. Communicate your characters' beliefs or religion through dialogue in everyday circumstances as well as through routine actions. Showcase their strengths and weaknesses through inner dialogue as well as character traits...The adage that you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been also applies to character development. As you design your character, map out the background story and events that formed his outlook on the world. Decide where he's from and how he got to the present moment in the story. Consider the type of childhood and adolescence your character had, and any changes that occurred...Also plan the family history and any influential relationships that shaped your character's past...Decide the dynamics with key figures...As you develop your character, decide what goals your character has, and why. A plot is driven by characters' quests and the pursuit of a goal. The protagonist has one goal while the antagonist has another, and as you develop these characters, define these goals as well as the reason your characters are pursuing them. Script the dialogue to reveal how your characters think and feel about each event. Consider background and personality when deciding what motivates your character. A character may be motivated by multiple things...Motivation is just as important as the name when developing your characters."
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