Character development is one of the main keys to writing a successful novel. If your characters are not believable and well rounded, your readers will not be able to keep their interest in your story. This is true whether your story is plot or character driven. It is vitally important for character driven stories.
There are many ways to create a believable character that your readers will either love, or love to hate. Likeability is an important part of character development, as well as motivation. If you can combine the two, you will be able to create characters that are real and three dimensional. That is the secret to success as a novelist.
First, create a backstory for every character in your book, no matter how insignificant they may be to the story. This will help you develop their motivation or why they do what they do and why they are the way that they are. Everyone has a story, and it is important to take the time to develop each character's personal story.
Next, you can develop a personality profile for your characters. How do they react under pressure? What little things do they do that make them real? One of the biggest mistakes a writer can make is creating two dimension characters that have no personality quirks. While you do not want to go overboard with this, it is important to make each character an individual in their own right.Your characters are people – real people – even if their lives are confined to the pages of your book. By looking at it in this way you will be able to create a story that is compelling, believable, and most importantly, highly readable. By going into your story with this mindset, you will be creating a book that will be read and this is the best goal a novelist can have.