As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support! Strong character development is one of the most important aspects of writing a fiction novel. With strong character development, your characters will be more memorable, and most importantly, your readers will be able to relate well to them, just as if they were a real live human being. With a little bit of experience and practice using these character development activities, you’ll soon master the art of character development in no time! character development in your novel In this post we’ll share with you the 5 steps to learning how to create memorable characters in your novel, along with some practical character development exercises to help you gain practice and confidence.

What is Character Development? Why Does it Matter?

In order to fully understand how to build strong characters in your novel, you first need to have a good understanding of what character development is – and why it is so important in the first place! So what does character development mean exactly? While there are many different interpretations for the definition of character development out there, I define character development as this:

Character Development Definition: The process in creating a persona in a story AND the changes this persona goes through during the course of the story.

The key here is to realize the character personality development process is not just the act of sitting down and conjuring up an imaginary person – it is also showing your readers how this persona changes and transforms throughout the course of the story.

character development definition Who Can Be a Character In My Novel?

The characters of your novel are in most instances the people who the story is about. You will typically have between 1-2 main characters and a handful of minor supporting characters in your book.

Do you know the differences between main and minor characters? Learn More Here: What You Need to Know About Main & Supporting Characters.

Your main characters are usually the people in the book who are central to the story. If you are writing in the first person, the story may be told from their point of view. Without the main character, there would be no story. Supporting characters are people who add dynamics to your story. They work to compliment the main character – and often need to add to the overall conflict to the story. A supporting character is not as critical as a main character, but the story should still need to rely on this person in order to be the same. If you can completely remove a character out of the book without affecting the plot, you may want to reconsider whether you even need that character in the first place! [sc name=”disclosure”]

Of Course, Not All Characters Are Human

Of course, I say “people” here – but characters can be any type of animate being. Animals, mythological creatures, and advanced artificial life forms are all candidates as main characters, depending on what type of genre you may be writing. For example, when writing children’s literature, it’s not uncommon for many of the characters to be animals. One example of a non-human character would be Peter, the main rabbit character in the story Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Even supporting characters do not need to be humans – many can be animals and other types of creatures. While we are on the topic of rabbits in fiction stories, one such case is the rabbit in the much loved classic Alice in Wonderland. characters in alice in wonderland The rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is an example of a supporting character which is not human. There are not a lot of rules on what a character can and can’t be – the key to making a character is all about the development of character – and these are all the personality traits and behaviors that make the character come to life! Now that we understand what character development is and who our characters can be, we’re ready to get onto the 5 steps of strong character development!

Here are the 5 Steps of Strong Character Development to Create Memorable Characters in Your Novel:

These 5 steps will guide you along creating realistic and relatable personas in your story – and ensure that your character fully grows throughout the plot!

Step 1: Identify Your Characters & Their Roles in the Story

The first step may be an obvious one, but an essential one! You need to know who will be the main people in your book. It’s important to identify not just who they are – but also what their roles are in the book. For example, if you’re writing a story similar to Peter Rabbit, you would identify first there is a rabbit named Peter. You may even consider some basic personality traits, such as being troublemaker or not being very good at listening to directions. However, it’s important you also identify the roles of the character in the story. Peter is a main character, but you need to think about what role he plays in the overall storyline. In the story, Peter is a young bunny. He is the son to the mother rabbit, and a brother of his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail. This adds to the overall character development of Peter, because if he were a grown-up rabbit in the story without a mother worrying about him or perfectly behaved sisters to compare and contrast with, you would miss a lot of the conflict in the story. Even minor absent characters can have important roles. Continuing with the Peter Rabbit story, Peter’s father was turned into stew after being caught in the farmer’s garden. This “raises the stakes” in the novel on why it is such a bad idea to sneak into the garden in the first place! We never see Peter’s father in the story, since he has passed on, but the introduction of him as a character adds to the suspense and conflict when Peter decides to pay the farmer’s garden a visit. Likewise, Peter’s sisters are relatively small supporting characters – however, without them being there we would not realize just how well-behaved a young rabbit could be compared to the bad decisions made by Peter! These roles are classic archetypes we see quite often not only in books, but even our own human lives. Most of us who grew up with siblings can relate to a time where we were the “bad one” or the “good one”, as this is a common relationship dynamic between siblings and the parent-child relationship. Remember, dynamic means stimulating activity, change or progress. Taking note of common relationship dynamics can be quite helpful in identifying how each character’s role is going to influence the outcome of your story and the overall growth of your main character.

An Important Note About Using Archetypes and Stereotypes: Avoid Cliches!

While using generic relationships between archetype characters can be helpful to identify roles and dynamics between people in your book, try to avoid character cliches while writing when possible! avoid cliches in character development stereotypes For example, many fairy tales have the evil step-mother – a wicked woman who despises or is jealous of the step-daughter. This character has been “done to death” as the saying goes – and likewise will make your story seem uninspiring. If a character is a cliche stereotype, it will likely turn readers off, especially if they know the stereotypes are not usually true about individuals. To overcome this, try changing your character to have some behaviors or motivations that are NOT the stereotype. Maybe the evil step mother is not cruel and narcissistic, but instead she’s seen as “evil” because she is too kind, helpful and overbearingly loving to a reluctant step-child. If you find yourself working with common archetypes, ask yourself: What can I do that will add a twist? Can I think of any real-life examples of this stereotype? What would make the person a unique individual and not quite as predictable?

Try This Character Development Exercise:

In this exercise for step 1, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are your characters?
  • What Roles do they play?
  • What is their relationship to the other characters?
  • What are the relationship dynamics between each character?
  • Does my character fit into any stereotype? What traits will help avoid any cliche’s and ensure my character is not flat or predictable?

Step 2: Get Inside Your Character’s Head

The next step, once we’ve identified each character and the role they play in the storyline, is to really get to know your character inside and out. While you will want to make a note of their physical appearance and main personality traits, it can be helpful to dig in even deeper. Using Character Development Questions can be very helpful for understanding your character’s quirks – and their main motivations. Even if you do not use all of the details in your story (and you probably shouldn’t!) – it is still a worthwhile exercise to practice. Answering questions about your character will give you as the writer a complete picture of the person and influencing elements of the story. Knowing how your character might react when angry for example will give you a starting place when you are ready to write the major rising conflict scenes.

Remember: It’s Not Just Who They Are in the Beginning – It’s Who They Become

Because development of characters is just as much about how they grow and change from the beginning of the story to the end, having an intimate knowledge of little details can make a big difference at how well you are able to convey this to your readers. For example, let’s say you have an idea for a main character named Jane who is a rather shy, timid, middle aged woman who has all but given up on life. After being fired from her last job, she is desperate for any type of work, so accepts a job as a cafeteria worker at a tough inner city school. The story of transformation can happen in a number of ways, depending on what story you want to tell. Maybe in the story Jane will be forced to speak up on an important issue on behalf of the students. As the writer, you could then show the readers how she transforms from being shy and depressed to finding something she is passionate about and building her confidence. Or, you could have Jane fall in love with the principal and has to learn to believe in herself enough to initiate a conversation that leads to that first date. Or, maybe Jane finds out the school is planning to poison the students during lunch next Tuesday and only she can save everyone. Whatever the plot may be, the important thing is that your character goes through changes in their personality and behavior – in a realistic and believable way. If you understand the little details about Jane and why she is the way she is and how her inner mind works, you’ll be better prepared to write about how she changes in a way your readers can understand and relate to.

Step 2 Exercise: Download the Character Development Worksheet:

Download our character development worksheet and answer the questions for each of your main characters. Once this step is complete, take some time to think about how your character will grow and transform by the end of the novel. What will change about your characters?

Step 3: Research, Research, Research

Research can be a writer’s worst nightmare – especially if you’re using the excuse to research as a procrastination method to avoid writing! However, doing your initial research about your characters before you start writing is very important, because it can actually save you the time-sucking distraction of trying to find information mid-sentence or mid-chapter. You should research as much as possible for anything you do not have direct experience with. Even if it is a topic you know a lot about, you should still try to research and fact-check just to make sure you have accurate information. For example, let’s say you are writing a novel where your main character is a cardiologist at a busy hospital. Not only would you need to research some basic information on cardiology as a profession, but you would need to make sure you are aware of medical customs and laws where the hospital is located. Even if you were the office assistant to a cardiologist as a past job, if the story is set in a different state or country, there will likely be many differences that readers who know better would be able to spot as being inaccurate. Historical novels are another example of where a lot of research might be necessary. If you’re writing a story set in the revolutionary war time period, it would be important to make sure everything you write is historically accurate. Having mistakes about dates, people, places or events would surely cause some readers to become upset!

Yes, There is Such a Thing as Too Much Research

Of course, you do not want to spend too much time in research, because research can lead you to become very distracted. Do as much research as you can beforehand, but if you’ve spent more than 2 months researching and have not written a single word yet, you are using research as an excuse to not write!

Step 3 Character Development Activity: Get Busy Researching!

Try one of these methods to gather research for the characters in your novel: Browse Forums & Discussion Groups: Facebook, Reddit and topic specific forums can be quite helpful here. For example, if you were writing a story about a guitar player, you might want to spend some time reading the discussions at, or at the very least joining a guitar related Facebook group. Interview Someone: If you are writing a story about a nurse, find a friend who is a nurse who you can interview to learn about some of their day-to-day activities. Is your main character a college student? Find a college student to interview!

Step 4: Strong Dialogue = Stronger Character Development

Dialogue is an important part of almost every story. The way your character talks and interacts in conversations with others can make a big difference on how well your audience can connect with the person or creature. There are a number of factors that can help you build strong dialogue between characters, but one important key is staying consistent. Consistency is very important. Staying consistent with your characterization of each person is what makes the people in your novel memorable and helps readers identify with the character. If your character is a conservative and traditional person and then all of a sudden out of nowhere starts swearing and dropping profanities, this might not only cause confusion – it could turn off some readers who related to the character’s traditional values earlier in the story. It’s also important to make sure through dialogue your characters are distinctively different. For example, if you have the characters David and Daniel, you would want to make sure each has unique identifying phrases, tone of voice, and mannerisms while talking. Otherwise, your readers may have to go back and reread a section as they try to remember which character is David and which one is Daniel – and that’s NOT a good sign!

Step 4 Exercise: Dialogue Writing Checklist

After you write a scene which contains dialogue, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the dialogue consistent to the characters personality traits and behaviors?
  • Is the dialogue distinctive enough that it is easy to distinguish between multiple characters?
  • Does the dialogue stay true to what someone would expect of the character?
  • Is the dialogue realistic for the character I am trying to portray?

Step 5: Show, Don’t Tell

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “show, don’t tell” as one of the main writing rules. Well, it may be cliche, but it is a very good tip for helping you write a convincing story with strong characters! This is an example of telling:

Mindy couldn’t believe she would never be at the beach house again. Tears welled in her eyes while she walked away.

This is an example of showing:

Mindy locked up the beach house one final time and slipped the key into her pocket. She looked towards the edge of the ocean through puffy and blurry eyes. She didn’t think it was possible to cry any more than she already had, but the tears came on again anyways, bursting out of her like a fierce and unexpected storm over the ocean.

Now, I just made these two examples up, so they are nowhere near “perfect” of course – but for example’s sake hopefully you can see a big difference between the two. The first one doesn’t really give a lot of detail, nor does it make us feel emotionally connected in any way to the story. We’re not really sure what’s happening. With the second example, we are more descriptive – Mindy is looking at the ocean through puffy, blurry eyes and then comparing the outburst of tears like an unexpected ocean storm. Making use of body language and feelings is very important when you are writing and will help you more effectively convey your message to your audience. When your readers can visualize a scene while they read and can relate to what the person might be feeling or experiencing, it is easier for them to be attached to the story. It can take some practice to fully master the concept of “show, don’t tell”, but the good news is the more you write the easier it gets!

Step 5 Exercise: 1 Paragraph 3 Ways

Take something you have recently written and now rewrite it in 3 different ways – even if you are already confident it shows and does not tell. Try to use different ways to describe the character’s actions, thoughts, and feelings. Here are three ways you can rewrite one paragraph:

  • Write the paragraph using vivid descriptive detail – include a literary device such as a metaphor or simile to describe a thought or action
  • Write the paragraph with as few as words as possible. How can you convey the same emotion, tone, and message with fewer details?
  • Write the paragraph as dialogue between two characters.

It might seem redundant to do this, but this simple act of rewriting one simple paragraph in three different ways can sometimes yield interesting results!

Character Development Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

It doesn’t have to be difficult to practice character development in writing – and in many ways, it can be one of the fun and exciting parts of the process when writing a novel. When you are able to convey your characters effectively, it will help your audience connect with the story and be drawn into reading about what happens next. Taking some time to research and practice these creative character development activities and exercises can be a very helpful way to get on the right track of becoming a successful author.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you have any questions about character development? What techniques do you practice to help create realistic and strong characters? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn’t stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types. May 22, 2022 Characters are at the heart of any story. They make choices, they struggle, they grow and they change. People can relate to good characters and understand the world they live in. But to create good characters, writers need to start with character development before writing their story. When most people think of ‘Characters’ in stories they think of common stereotypes and have preconceptions of what a person is or can be. This is a scary way of thinking, as it can lead to the creation of dull or typical characters in stories. Instead, characters should be seen as people – just like you, your friends, your family and anyone else around you. When most writers refer to ‘Characters’, they are actually referring to their traits, rather than their actions. For example, a fictional character can be a person who is a good person, a bad person, or a good person with bad traits or qualities. Character development is much more than traits – It is the story of your character. Everything from their worst memories to the happiest moment in their life. Knowing your character inside and out is what makes a good character. In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of character development in story-telling, and outline 20 tips for creating remarkable characters with examples.

What Is Character Development?

Character development is the process of describing the characters in your story or novel in great detail. This description goes beyond the physical appearance of a character. It details many aspects of a character, such as their back-story, strengths, skills, weaknesses, motives, relationships and much more. The purpose of this process is to help you understand every aspect of your characters before you start writing your novel. Learn how to develop powerful characters in 15 steps.

Why Is Character Development Important?

The main reason why character development is important is all about impact. You want your characters (especially the main ones) to be relatable, unique and powerful. You want your readers to be rooting for them from the get-go. To be on their side, to feel their pain and to experience their joy. The only way to create such impactful characters is through the character development process. There are also many other reasons why the character development process is important, such as:

  • Consistency: A detailed character profile document can remind you of your character’s flaws, memories and skills and keep them consistent throughout the story.
  • Growth: Character development can ensure that your main characters change and grow throughout the story. There’s nothing more boring than a character who stays the same until the very end!
  • Conflict: If you know who your character is in detail, then you can create a major conflict to really hurt them. Put your readers on the edge, with a moment of “Will they…Won’t they” – Who knows if the main character will make it or not?
  • Realism: You want to create real people that your readers can get to know throughout the story. The problem is that real people can be complicated – so your characters should also have layers of complexity to them.

20 Tips For Character Development

Character development is a complex process. Here are our tips for creating remarkable characters:

1. Have realistic motives and goals

The very purpose of a character in your story is their mission or goal. What are they striving for? What do they want? What is their reason or motive for wanting this? For example, if your main character is looking for someone – Think about the why. Why are they searching for this person? Is it because they want revenge? Maybe they recently lost someone, and are in desperate need to find a family member who cares? Whatever your character’s goal is, there always has to be a real, explainable reason for wanting this.

2. Give your characters a distinct voice

Voice isn’t just about the way a character speaks. It’s also the way they act or their mannerisms. If all the characters in your story had the same sense of humour and the same attitude, then it would be a boring story, and conflict wouldn’t even exist. Just look at your own life. The people you are surrounded by are not all the same. Pay attention to the words they use, the hand gestures and body movements, their accents and their general attitude to certain things. Some people come across as aggressive, others are soft-spoken and there are just some people you’ll probably never understand. When developing your character, think about the catchphrases and words the character uses, their accent or sound of voice when speaking and whether they use slang or speak in full-proper sentences.

3. Slowly reveal the character

Avoid dumping all the details of your character in the first few paragraphs or even the first chapter of your novel. Keep certain things a mystery. Just imagine in real life, when you meet someone for the first time, the introduction is brief and basic. You can see their physical appearance, and learn about where they are from. You might even know something basic about their interests. But it’s very rare for that person to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets to you in the first introduction. Neither would they tell their weaknesses so quickly. It’s the same journey in your story. The reader wants to get to know your character, but not everything is as it seems in the first few pages. They’ll need to stick with the character until the very end to really know them – Just like real relationships!

4. Consider both external and internal conflict

Conflict is one of the most important elements of story-telling. When it comes to character development, conflict is an opportunity to show readers how strong your character really is. Their strength is shown in the decisions they make, and how they choose to deal with the conflict. Some characters may run away, displaying a trait of cowardice. While others might make silly decisions causing their loved ones to get hurt How your character deals with conflict says a lot about their personality. In stories, conflict can be internal or external. External conflict comes from the outside, such as a bad guy fighting against your main character. While internal conflict is a struggle inside your main character, such as overcoming some dark memories or regrets of past decisions made. During the character development phase, it’s a good idea to think about both conflict types that will affect your character.

5. Know your character’s backstory

No person is born out of thin air. There has to be some history, some past behind them. Who were they? Why are they making the decision they are now? How did they become the person they are today? This is absolutely crucial in the character development process. When thinking about your character’s backstory, you might want to consider the following:

  • Good memories
  • Bad memories
  • Anger triggers
  • Friends / Best Friends
  • Family
  • Income
  • Past Job/Occupation
  • Biggest Fear
  • Role-Models
  • Life motto
  • Nightmares
  • Dreams

These elements and more can help explain a character’s backstory. And once you know your character’s history, you can use it to explain their current or future actions in your story.

6. Use familiar language to describe a character

No one uses hoity-toity language to describe a character unless the character is a real snob. Keep it real with your characters. When describing their physical appearance, don’t go overboard with unrelatable features like pointy nose, green skin, pink hair and so on – Unless you’re writing a fantasy story about a fun witch who loves candy floss. Similarly when thinking about a character’s personality. Give them realistic interests, skills and weaknesses.

7. Physical appearance still matters

There’s a lot of emphasis on a character’s personality, backstory or skills during the character development process. But it’s still important to remember how your character looks physically on the outside. Think about their hair colour, skin colour, body shape, posture, hairstyle, clothing style and so on. The way a person carries themself on the outside can say a lot about their personality. For example, someone who is always wearing neutral coloured clothing tends to be shy or doesn’t want to draw attention to themself. While someone who is boldly dressed, with great fashion sense could be more on the outgoing side. On the topic of physical appearance, it’s also a good idea to give your main character a unique feature – Something that makes them stand out from the rest of the characters. For example, Harry Potter has a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead. While Alice from Alice in Wonderland is the only yellow-haired girl in all of Wonderland.

8. Develop Secondary Characters

It’s nice to pay attention to just your main characters in the character development process. But it’s just as important to develop your secondary characters also. Common examples of secondary characters are sidekicks or foil characters. Sidekicks are normally friends of your main character – They support and offer help in moments of need in the story. While foil characters are normally the opposite of your main character. They have contrasting values and viewpoints which can be a source of minor external conflict for your main character. You don’t need to explain your secondary characters in great detail. But you should know their relationship to the main character, and how it impacts the plot of the story.

9. Create bad habits and character quirks

Everyone has some kind of bad habit. Sometimes you don’t notice it until someone points it out. But we all resort to doing something when we’re nervous or dealing with something terrible. This could be something simple like biting your nails, chewing a pen or cracking your knuckles. Or it could be something more serious, such as eating disorders and negative self-talk. When developing your character, think about the following:

  • What do they do when they are really nervous?
  • What bad habits do they have?
  • What good habits do they have?
  • What are their eating and sleeping habits like?

Knowing this information can add an extra layer of realism to your character making them more interesting to readers.

10. Know both your character’s strengths and weaknesses

A perfect person is a person with no flaws. How many people do you know with no flaws at all? Really, there is no such thing as a perfect person, just people who try to be perfect! When developing your characters, it’s really important to consider their flaws, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. But a story focused on a weak character would be pretty depressing and cold. So remember to also create classic strengths and heroic qualities for your character. Something that makes your main character charming and warm. This might be their caring nature, or their ability to look on the bright side of life. The good and the bad can come together to create a real character that your readers can believe in until the very end.

11. Develop a mix of personality types

Avoid developing characters that all have the same or similar personality types in one story. You can’t have a story filled with whimsical characters who are always jolly and looking on the bright side. Similarly, you can’t have a story filled with evil, sadistic types. Just like the real world, a story should include a mix of personality types. Just look at your own life, and the people around you like your friends. Are all your friends the same? Maybe some are quiet, others are more out-going, some may be smarter, while others might like breaking the rules. Take this approach when developing characters for your story. Mix it up and see how different characters interact with one another and the world they live in.

12. Know the impact of your character’s backstory

We talked about character backstories in point 5 above. It’s one thing to know about their backstory, but another thing to link it to their current actions. For example, imagine a brother and a sister – Both lost their parents in a car accident when they were little. Now as grown-ups one has become a villain hurting anyone who comes close to them. While the other sibling puts all their attention on saving the lives of others to mask their own feelings. Backstories or traumatic events have the power to change your characters for the better and worse. Think about a major event in your character’s life, and how this event has changed or impacted this character in the present.

13. Create a diverse set of characters

Here we are not just talking about a mixed set of personalities, but more about diversity in other areas. Think about the race, gender, beliefs, disabilities and occupation of your characters. It’s unrealistic to create a story filled with upper-class characters with rich lives unless this is the focus of the story. Similarly, you don’t want to insolate readers by making all the characters male or white in skin colour. Equality is important both in the real world and in your stories. But don’t worry you don’t need to bang on about equality in your story, especially if the story has nothing to with this topic. Instead, you can indirectly talk about the effects of a character’s difference. For example, a reader can tell if a character is in a wheelchair by the difficulties they may face when completing an action without you having to directly mention that they are in a wheelchair.

14. Avoid stereotypes

Stereotypical characters are characters that have always been portrayed in the same manner and are very typical. In other words, they can be seen as overused characters that the average person has seen many times before. For example a shy librarian or an untrustworthy con artist. Readers know that a typical librarian is an introvert, or a con artist is a liar. What readers may not know is that librarian may be a rock star or a caring con artist who is trying to pay off a debt to a big criminal. Switch it up a bit and show your readers that there is more to a character than what first meets the eyes. Surprise your readers with characters that are filled with secrets and layers of personalities.

15. Introduce the main character early

There’s nothing more tiresome than waiting for the main character to introduce themselves in stories. Some writers make the mistake of introducing too many secondary characters early on, instead of the main character/s. This causes confusion in the plot and makes the story hard to follow. It is very important that you either directly introduce the main character early on or include clear hints of this main character at the beginning. For example, a group of characters in a diner might be gossiping about the main character or someone might be reading a newspaper article about the main character. Either way, we should know the main character’s name early on in the story and even include some idea of their personality. This way the readers can easily identify them as the ‘main’ character in the story.

16. Decide whether a character is static or dynamic

Static characters are ones that don’t change over the course of the story. While dynamic characters are characters that experience some growth or change by the end of the story. It is very common for secondary characters in stories to be static, while the main character is normally dynamic. However, this is not always the case. In some stories, you may notice that the main character remains static throughout the whole story. For example in a mystery novel where the main character is an intelligent detective. By the end of the story, even after solving the biggest case of the century, this detective will still be the same person they were at the beginning. The choice of whether your main character should be static or dynamic depends entirely on your story’s plot. If you want other elements of the story to take the centre stage, such as the conflict or another character – Then creating a static main character is ideal. However if your story is all about the main character’s struggle, then a dynamic character is the way to go.

17. Use character arcs

A character arc is a tool for describing a character’s journey throughout the story. It can include information on how the character’s physical, mental and emotional state changes at different points in the story. After completing your character arc, you should have a clear picture of how a character has changed or grown from beginning to end. It is recommended that you create a character arc for the main character of your story at the very least.

18. Use your own experience as inspiration

Our final tip for character development is to use your own experiences as inspiration. There’s nothing more real and more relatable than your own life experiences. Think back to your own good and bad memories, and how they have made you the person you are today. Use these experiences to create new characters for your stories. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your main character, how would you react if you were faced with a similar conflict?

19. Don’t rush the character names

Some writers make the mistake of skimming through the character naming process. However, you should never underestimate the power of a good character name. A good name can make your character more believable and relatable. It also enhances their unique personality. For example, if you’re writing a fantasy story set in a magical kingdom, you might want to choose mystical fantasy names like Norok or Sybella. On the flip side, if you’re writing a tale based in the real world, you’ll want to pick a typical everyday name that suits your character.

20. Practice makes perfect

Practice your character development skills by taking part in our daily character challenge. Each day you will be given a random character image, and your task is to create a detailed character profile for them. If you keep practising your character skills, you’ll become a master at creating remarkable characters in no time!

Free Character Development Worksheet

Develop your characters in detail with our free character development worksheet PDF pack: character development worksheets Download our free character development worksheet pack in PDF! Stick a picture or drawing of your character in the middle. Then describe this character in great detail around the picture, and other pages provided. Once completed, you’ll have a detailed profile of your character to use in your stories.

Common Questions With Answers

What is an example of character development?

There are many great examples of character developments. The best example we can think of is Harry Potter in the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Here Harry Potter is introduced as a helpless, 11-year-old boy who is being emotionally abused by his relatives. By the end of the book, Harry has learned that he is a wizard who is not alone. He makes friends and even takes on Voldemort. No longer is Harry, a helpless little boy, he is now a brave young wizard. This is a great example of character development, as it clearly shows a growth in the main character and all the different layers of personality within them.

What are the 4 types of character development?

Characters can be grouped into four main types:

  • Dynamic: This is a character who changes throughout the story.
  • Static: The character remains the same from beginning to end.
  • Round: A round character is one with a range of personality traits.
  • Flat: A flat or stock character is a stereotypical character with one or two traits.

How do you identify character development?

You can identify character development in stories in two main ways:

  1. Direct Characterisation: Through direct statements about the character, you can identify who they are and what they are like. Take this example: Once upon a time, there lived a poor farmer’s boy named David. Here we know the main character’s name, and a bit about their situation.
  2. Indirect Characterisation: Based on actions, thoughts and dialogue we learn about the character. For example, David went to the market and stole some apples to feed his family. Here we learned from David’s actions that he might be poor and that he has a family.

What are the 5 ways to develop a character?

There are a number of ways to develop a character for stories. Here are 5 ways to develop a character:

  1. Physical Description: Think about the physical appearance of the character, such as eye colour, hairstyle and fashion sense.
  2. Action: How the character behaves and acts in situations is a great way to describe a character’s personality.
  3. Voice: This is the way a character speaks and the words they use.
  4. Decisions: The decisions a character makes in tough situations can highlight their personality.
  5. Relationships: THe company your main character keeps, and how they interact with them could also display a character’s personality.

Got a question you want to ask about character development? Let us know in the comments below! Character Development Tips For Developing Characters

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