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Writing a story is an exciting prospect. Many things need to happen from the time you think up a good storyline, to the actions of putting it down on paper. There is a plethora of would be authors that have great ideas, but lack the tools needed to put it all together. Their stories sadly end before the pen hits the paper, or these days, the fingers hit the computer keyboard.
It certainly takes more than a lot of hard work. Dedication to the project is a requirement, but there is way more to it than that. I am about to let you in on a little secret. In addition to a great storyline, character development is critically important to your success in writing an interesting story. So where do you start when it comes to character development? Here are 5 tips that will help you develop your characters to make your story more interesting.
Add an element of surprise to your characters personality.
Your audience will have basic expectations, of your characters, based on specific stereotypes. You need to provide your readers with the unexpected. Try giving your characters traits that go directly against the pre-conceived stereotypes that your audience is expecting.
For example, if you have a boxer in your story, have him or her work as a florist, because they enjoy arranging flowers as much as rearranging opponents’ faces.
When you merge personalities in unexpected ways, your characters will seem like real people, instead of just words on a page.
Your characters need a secret.
Everyone loves a secret, and the same hold true for people reading your stories. When you allow your audience in on your characters secrets it develops a sense of closeness between the reader, and the characters. Readers love to know something about characters that nobody else in the story is privy too.
Secrets, in stories, also create a sense of mystery. When will the secret be revealed, and if it does, how will it happen. Secrets literally keep the pages turning. In addition, secrets can lead to lies, which allow the characters to act in fascinating ways. Will they lie, or act funny? This keeps readers far more interested.
Tip # 3
Lessen your characters self-consciousness.
In society, most people exhibit self-control. They tend to stay away from the dangerous urges that will get them into a ton of trouble. People stifle jealously, unacceptable desires, and emotions. The ones that do not suppress these things often find themselves in trouble, jail, or even dead. You have to admit that these types of people are far more interesting than the rest of us.
The same can be said for your characters. Your readers will find it far more interesting if your characters are taking unnecessary risks, putting themselves in danger, and getting into trouble.
Tip # 4
Your characters should be hands-on.
Hands-on characters make things happen. They take control of situations, and get down to business without hesitation. Your readers will either relate to this, or wish they could be more like your characters. Either way, the audience will appreciate the hands-on aspect of your characters.
Hands-on characters are interesting to read about because they are full of life. They build action in your story, and everyone loves action. Your audience will also find it interesting if you have characters that are passive, but forced into action based on circumstances in your storyline. Everyone loves a quite, self-involved person that is forced to seek revenge.
Tip # 5
Allow a sidekick to steal the limelight from your main character.
Is there a character in your story that has the ability to steal the limelight from your main character? If so, this causes conflict, which is always an interesting aspect to character development, and your storyline. Try switching gears, and write the story from the sidekicks’ perspective.
Character development is a key component to any good story. It is critical to concentrate on this aspect in order to write an interesting story that your audience cannot put down. You also should have fun when writing about your characters. You can be sure that if you are having fun writing about them, your fans will have fun reading about them.