So, you’ve got your plot. A basic one, at least. Now you need a character. I think it’s important to develop your character before fully developing your plot, because your character can change the plot. My nano novel was going to be about a girl who was a shapeshifter, but shapeshifting had to be her secret power that she was afraid of. Once I learned more about my character, I realized that Wild would think that shapeshifting was AWESOME. She would LOVE it. So I had to change her power, which changed the plot.
In my opinion, the best way to develop your character is to take as many character quizes as you can. Not the “Your Character is XYZ” type of quiz, but the ones that ask you tons of questions about your characters. Quizes for dating sites might work too. Here are some sample questions that you all can start with.
What is your character’s full name?
Wistar “Wild” Banister
Who are your character’s parents?
She was raised by a washerwoman and her husband along with her three daughters. Wild’s real parents are hidden to avoid possible spoilers, but I know who they are 😉
What does your character look like? (Tip: Never should this entire description appear in your novel in one area.)
She has short black hair and bright purple eyes. Her skin is very pale, almost white, and she’s a very dainty woman. She looks very young and has a slender nose and red lips.
Does your character have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics?
She’s eager to talk to anyone new she sees, almost like a dog. She trusts everyone she meets and thinks that everyone has good inside of them. She gets annoyed when someone doesn’t want to do whatever fun thing comes into her head (like climb a tree or go swimming).
Has your character had his/her first kiss? Is he/she a virgin? Are they currently in a relationship?
No, yes, no.
Who means the most to your character (at the start of the novel)?
Quade. He found her when she thought she would die from loneliness. Granted, he’s the only person she interacts with, and if her dog was a person she’d probably pick her, but that’s that.
What is your character’s greatest fear?
That she’ll be lose control and end up completely alone again.
If your character could change one thing about him/herself, what would it be?
Wild wishes that she was just like everyone else, with a family and something to do every day other than run around with her dog.
I’ll leave you guys to find your own quizzes, because you might be able to find some tailored to your exact
gender GENRE (I cannot believe I wrote gender, this is because the Amish people in Breaking Amish are wearing distractingly bright clothes). So go forth, flesh out your main character! You can do it for as many characters as you want, knock yourself out.
Next time we shall be talking about how to develop a love interest (so feel free to skip that for those of you not dealing in romance).
Part One is here.