How Character Development Can Make a Story More Interesting

Table of Contents

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.

Main Story

Tip #1


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.

Tip #2


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.

The Index

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.


How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book

Writing a Proposal


So, you’ve written a book. That’s great! Now comes the difficult part: getting an agent (middle man between you and publishers). In order to attain an agent, you will need to write a proposal. In a proposal, you’ll explain what your book is all about. It’s important to make it short, as agents don’t have time to read long proposals due to the big number of proposals that they receive on a daily basis. Make it four paragraphs long at the most. You should write it, and then leave it alone for a couple of days before coming back to it. If you do this, you’ll catch errors and write the best proposal that you possibly can. The last paragraph you should make it about you. Agents want to know who you are and what you have to offer, because you need to remember, publishing a book is a business for different parties. If you have a YouTube channel that has subscribers or a Twitter or Facebook page with a lot of followers, you should notify it to agents on the last paragraph, especially if you’re a first-time writer. At the end of the day, agents and publishers want to make money, so they’ll be glad to know that you have a loyal following that is interested in what you have to say.

2015 Guide to Literary Agents

unnamedIn order to know which agents to send your proposal to, you need to purchase the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents. A new edition of this guide is published every year. It’s considered by many people in industry as the most trusted guide to getting published. In the back of this book, you’ll find a list of agents. You’ll just have to find the category for your genre and under it, you’ll find the name of agent companies, which you can just type in a browser and the official website will pop up. (If you don’t have the money to buy the book, go to Amazon and click on the preview, scroll down, and copy the names of the agents that are in the genre category that goes hand in hand with your book.)

Pick Yourself up after a Rejection

"Rejected" stamp

“Rejected” stamp

You should send it to at least 100 agents. It’s important that you note that approximately 96% of the proposals that are submitted end up being rejected. When you get your first rejection, you’ll feel like the world is over or that maybe you’re not good enough, and thus, you should stop writing, but you have to cry a bit and pick yourself up and keep on going, as there’s no other option for a writer. If you want to be a writer, you’re not going to stop no matter how many times you are rejected by agents. You just have to keep writing and become better at your craft. If the 100 agents reject you, place that manuscript aside for a while and opt to write another book that is shorter. Maybe think about focusing on another genre. Never get stuck in the same genre, because as a writer, you’re versatile and can write about almost anything. Once you’re done, think about sending your old manuscript directly to publishers this time, as there are some who do accept manuscripts.


You Need to Get an Idea First!

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