Welcome, Reader Friends! I’d like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned about character development.
From D.I. Telbat’s Writer’s Tablet
3 Lessons on Character Development
- A good plot with underdeveloped characters makes for a disappointing story. Our concern should be about making each character realistic and as close to real life as possible, with flaws and all. Undeveloped characters in a story may as well be replaced with boulders. But give the boulders life, and the story takes shape.
- There’s no such thing as a “bad” story if the characters are well developed and relatable. Maybe nothing huge happens in the story, but with amusing, interesting characters, the reader will relate with satisfaction.
- You can’t have too many characters if each character is unique and has a purpose. A good character sketch on every character before starting the story, (at least a half page each), means your story will not leave the reader confused from scene to scene. It is important, in a story with many characters, to remind the reader briefly of that character’s unique feature, name, or skill in subsequent scenes, weaving descriptions subtly into the storyline.
How I create a character sketch
The character sketch should detail what the character looks like, what his flaws are, his likes and dislikes, how he might react to certain things, anything significant that happened in his past, what his hopes are for the future. Make him/her a real person. And that means not perfect.
Example of a character sketch for The COIL Series books:
Character: Luigi Putelli
Black eyes, black hair
He is tall, lean, cold-hearted
Speaks English, French, Italian, German
Chews bubble gum
Talks too much because his addiction to cigarettes nearly killed him
Greed is his vice
Italian resident, but spy for French DGSE agency
Too curious, to a dangerous point
Wants to be the best in his cutthroat occupation
Often recalls sharks in Greece that nearly killed him
Secret: admires peers more than they admire him
Atheist; sees Christians as weak
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glance into my character development.
See you on the next page!
Read more of D.I. Telbat’s writing experiences on his Writer’s Tablet page.
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