As writers, we deal with constant challenges developing characters, constructing workable plots, and keeping our readers engaged as they travel through 300 plus pages. For this post, I’m focusing on developing fleshed out characters.
- Create vision boards with your characters in the center. I prefer to create one vision board per character. However, you can create a vision board for up to three main characters of your novel. Cut out images from magazines that reflect the personality traits and passions of your characters. Make sure you include their occupation, marital status, and dreams on the board.
- Pretend you are a journalist and interview your characters. Ask them what motivates them to get out of bed each morning. What do they desire most? And how will they strategize to reach their goals?
- Design a chart with your characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you include their blind spots such as weaknesses seen and witnessed by the other characters. We all have blind spots. And these blind spots help us develop our stories.
- Write lists of the characters’ physical attributes. This includes hair color, eye color, body type, and their clothing style.
- Write a chapter in the first person so that you can get into the character’s head. You can continue writing your novel in the first person or return to writing in the third person.
Creating fleshed out characters means that we step outside of our own minds and hearts. We birth characters from our imagination and yet, they are separate entities from us. Characters should surprise and shock us instead of coming across as navel-gazing. Just like a parent must let their children find their own way in the world through making mistakes and taking risks, so must our characters. It’s only our job to create worlds, experiences, and problems for our characters to experience.
I’m available for coaching you on your artistic and personal journey. I use astrology, channeling, and other metaphysical skills with my coaching practice. Sign up at Whole Astrology. I am also available to teach workshops.