Character Development 101

Character Development 101

Hola, my word-guzzling knowledge seekers! I’ve been thinking a lot about character development lately because my finals involve writing a pitch for an original TV show and presenting it to my peers. Yes I go to college, believe me.

What I discovered through this experience was that my character development skills are alright when looking at one character, but I neglected to explain how my characters would interact with one another. It’s not that I forgot that this was important, I just assumed that once my characters were fully fleshed individually then their social skills would develop and they would just magically have quirky relationships with one another. Well that’s not how it works in the real world, so why would it work in a reflection of it? Everyone, including you (unless you were raised by rocks), is in the presence of another being or multiple beings when they’re at the critical stages of development—namely ages 0 through 5. So it should follow that during the critical stages of character development, your character should grow along with his/her companions, family, mentors, what have you.

When I started to think of how my characters would interact with one another, more personality traits started coming to me. For example, one of my characters, DJ, became an incorrigible flirt (with little luck in that department, but he tries nonetheless). A love triangle started to develop between DJ, the little punk who calls himself DJ’s rival named Coulton, and Jett, the serious and seriously beautiful badass—well, it’s pretty one-sided since Jett has a crush on DJ’s older brother, Miles. I guess that’s more of a love rectangle. Quadrangle? Whatever you call it. As a result, I had the idea that while outwardly she rolls her eyes at their feud, inwardly she likes that she has boys who are interested in her since throughout her life she’s intimidated every other male in her life. This is just one example of how my characters began to become more interesting when they developed together as opposed to individually.

So take it from me, readers. Let your characters grow together. Let them eat together, fight together, play games together, maybe even sleep together. Unless your main character was raised by rocks and is meant to be socially awkward. I would read a story like that too.

Until next time, readers! I hope you’re as ready for turkey as I am!

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