Bringing the characters to life in the reader’s mind is a valuable skill that each writer must master.  This process can range from thumbnail sketches to deep, wordy, highly detailed biographies of each character. It’s important to note that different genres and stories require different types of character development.

Like real people, memorable characters change and evolve over time.  Don’t forget that your main character won’t be the same at the end of your book!

Here are character development questions that will help you link character changes to broader story arcs and make sure your characters aren’t cardboard cutouts:

What matters most to your character?

What is your character’s biggest desire?

What is your character’s greatest fear?

What are your character’s flaws?

What is your character’s type or archetype?


Elements of WritingWriting Craft

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