Opinions · tips · Writing

Developing A Character

For me, developing a character isn’t about using character sheets. It is neither about using spreadsheets. Both those methods never worked for me and for me, if you are a writer who finds yourself doing badly at it, then this is a post for you. 

When I write characters, to develop them, I usually use these three methods. Which I always find interesting, as it highlights and interesting aspect of a certain character. Or a certain reason why they carry around certain objects, chooses to dress in a certain way. 

To me, characters sometimes cannot be left to a structured street. It has to be organic, free of any influence at all. And here’s what I do. 

#1 Write Dialogue In Their Voice 

Sometimes you don’t need to go so deep into their heads, dialogue is enough. This works especially for characters who view the world in a completely different light, or are incredibly witty that the dialogue is more than enough to tell that. And this can be your eyes only, and can help to figure out some aspects which works so well for me. 

#2 Write Notes Like A Biography

Whenever I want to write a character, sometimes I do this. Sometimes the characters may only have a couple chapters, how do I show and outline their personality well enough. I write notes, like a biography except that it can be written hilariously, or in any way you want to. It can be like a journal, reflecting your character’s voice, perspective. Or it can be how you view them. It can be also about their personality. This isn’t just about listing down all facts, you can go into detail for some of them, and they can be quite fun. It all just depends on how you write them, and they can stay private and never see the light of day. 

#3 Try Writing Letters 

This is the best way for me to develop relationships, especially when I start chuckling at how it will be. These sort of things can reveal a lot of aspects of their relationships, and give it a deeper depth. And help you in characterization around certain characters, when they are around some others. 

Or perhaps whether it was strained at some point, another where one knew a lot more about. I would say that this depends a lot on how you write, how your characters are. 

This are basically all my tips to develop characters, this are really what works for me. I’m not a full planner, the way I plan is organic and free. Since I find myself finding that certain aspects of a character sheet are redundant and some are missing which I needed so desperately. Do tell if you have any other tips, or differing opinions. There are many ways to develop your characters, and this is just one of them. 

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4 thoughts on “Developing A Character

    1. Thanks, that was a lot of mostly trial and error to find what really worked for me and what didn’t. Apart from normal character sheets never worked out, some details to me were completely irrelevant.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I just posted about this yesterday and found your blog today! X files theme, you are summoned!

    I’m much the same in that I can’t use lists or any of the like to create a character. They kinda just appear in my head (I’m grateful that other writers won’t look at me weirdly for writing this) and usually in mid story, so I write what I see. They develop in their story mostly. Putting them in the thick of it shows me who and what they are.

    Characters that don’t arrive like that I have to prod at like a person I’m trying to get to talk to me, happens rarely but is a nightmare when I need them and it’s not working.

    I really like the letter writing idea and I’m going to play with that as an exercise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, and well I do completely agree that a lot of my characters tend to be spur of the moment thing. They just so happen to exist in the story and for me that is really the only way. And well, for me there are moments where I can’t seem to also figure them out, and tend may only have few things to write about them.
      By the way, thanks for sharing and wish you luck the whole letter writing thing was rather interesting for me to try which is why I out it in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

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