Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Developing a Fictional Character

Writers who prefer working in fiction often struggle with character development. The process itself can sound quite easy. But, in reality it takes a lot of work and consideration. It doesn’t matter which genre of fiction writing you’re doing. Developing quality characters who are memorable can be difficult.

Research and background work are crucial elements to developing fictional characters. Before you embark on either of these elements you will need to decide on the right form of fiction. For instance, you will need to determine if your story is a romance, or is it suspense. This is important information to begin with. Not only will it help to classify your book later on, but it will also assist you as you’re structuring your story line.

Once you have decided on a type of fiction, then you can proceed to work on your characters. Every author has a format to this process. Some choose their characters for specific reasons, or to represent real life people. No matter which of these is the case, working on good character development is paramount in fiction. The characters are, in essence, the instruments you will use to allow your book to take on personality.

Beginning this process with your story idea is a common way to develop fictional characters. If your idea involves an occurrence, even an actual one, using this will help you form characters. Authors often use events or relationships to provide the people in their novels. Names are typically changed as a part of the creative process, but the story can be representative of something which really took place.

This type of fictional character development is often easier than other processes. It can require nothing more than coming up with names for your characters. Other writers develop characters by first choosing a specific setting. These characters will be central to this locale. They are individuals who can be simply developed because of their origin.

An example of this would be if the characters are from the South. Depending on the city or state, you will be able to incorporate their surroundings into the characters. Your characters will not only tell your story, but answer questions about life in that place. Accents and customs of locations can really add a lot of depth to the overall story.

Many authors choose their characters because of preliminary research they have done. This is a scenario where the author has researched his or her idea. They have chosen a location and researched it, as well. Taking all of this information, the author then is able to develop the characters in their book.

Most authors will confess that a lot of their inspiration for fictional character development comes from real-life experiences. They take bits and pieces of people they’ve met and places they’ve visited, to assist in the process. Using this type of inspiration often results in some of the greatest fictional characters, because they are simpler to envision. These characters are also easy to write about.

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1 comment:

  1. Yep this is true. In fact most of the time my stories start with a character first, and then I build everything else (the story, the setting, supporting characters, back stories, etc.) around the character. Good post.


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