Character Developement

Question: I am writing a story with two main characters. This whole story (which I am writing in 4 parts/books) spans roughly eight years. The characters do not meet one another until two years into the story. One of the characters has substantial development in the first two years, while the latter character has very minimal development. I don't want the story to be one-sided for the first bit of the story. The second character also seems really bland and static. Any ideas on how to put this character into situation(s) that will develop her independently of the first character?


Answer: The important thing is that you show both characters coping with a problem in their unique way, so that the reader gets to understand how these characters think and act, their respective situations and natures. The resolutions of these problems should be events -- significant changes that open up new possibilities for each character. (Later, as the story progresses the characters can be pressured to change their approach, creating inner conflict.)

We understand characters when we see them in action, coping with problems that are serious to them and which we can empathize.

It doesn't matter how many pages each of these events take up, so long as they fulfill their task. In other words, it's okay if one character gets more pages in the beginning so long as their opening events are equally significant.

Even if these characters don't meet, you might also consider giving some hint that their stories are or will be connected. Do they know some of the same people, live in the same community, etc.? Do they actually pass each other on the street without meeting?

Comments for Character Developement

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 08, 2015
help please?
by: Anonymous

I having some trouble "rewriting" a book I did back in the 8th grade. It's four years later, and I want to add more to my series (book 1). Any tips that can help me?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero