When characters are compelling and engaging, readers stay with you. Shaping multidimensional personalities is both challenging and crucial. Here’s a five-step toolbox to create complex characters who will stay with your reader long after the story ends.
- Find your own voice first. Before characters, it necessary to be conscious of your own style. Consider how poet Jaswinder Bolina discovered his voice through writing.
- Let characters unfold naturally. Don’t force it. Sometimes the character emerges through the process, not beforehand. Find out the steps Alexander Maksik takes to develop characters.
- Setting is your friend. Use your story’s setting as inspiration when building characters, just as author Oonya Kempadoo did for her novel All Decent Animals.
- Get inside heads. Dialogue, especially internal dialogue, is a valuable opportunity to introduce characters. Get inspiration from this article on how to use inner thoughts to reveal a character.
- Still stuck? Writing prompts such as this one and this one are a great place to start building your character’s dossier.