The Novel Chronicles: Character Development (Mentality)

Hello all!

So I’ve begun this new thing where I have my ideas written in a sort of tree like diagram.

Think of a family tree with all of those branches representing a person. Now, instead of the people those branches represent, imagine these are all general ideas that then stem into smaller, more precise ideas.

This is my new way of creating content for both of my blogs in a way that is organized and concise for my readers (AKA you!).

The first little marker on my tree diagram (or TD) is writing novels; the first steps being creating characters.

I’ve always had trouble with organizing my thoughts that when I decide to begin writing a story line, I always end up getting stuck.

Characters need to be as close to real people as possible; when the time comes in a situation, you can ask yourself what would this person do as a response to ___ situation.

See? It’s all about cause and effect.

For example, one of the story lines I’m working on has a strong female character with a knack for impulsive reactions. I would take this personality trait and keep it in mind for when I decide to write a situation in which this character has to react.

These character analyses are much like a psychological evaluation. Picture your characters’ responses to a set of questions. Ask if certain behaviors or reactions are due to their upbringing or genetic traits – Nature v. Nurture.

These upbringings can be analyzed with questions such as, is my character’s stubbornness due to her never having any resistance to wants as a child, or is it a natural trait that has has been present since she was a little girl?

You have to dive deep into your characters, which can be tough since this isn’t a real person. It’s like you pick a person’s character and write about them during the most interesting points of their lives. After you create said character in a random situation during their lives, it seems illogical to then expect them to live/react like normal people.

The best novels are the ones that are relatable to it’s readers, so keep in mind your target audiences and their current grievances. If your character is a specific age, think about maturity, priorities, and financial situations. These can all change how a person reacts in specific social settings.

The whole point of a character is to make them come to life, and the best part about this is you have the power to do so.

Think of this character’s phobias, loves, and even mental disorders (If they have any).

Perhaps your character develops a mental disability later on in his/her life due to situations that haven’t been written in the story yet.

The most important, out of all the things. for your character is to update their own personal portfolio.

You know how psychologists have their own folders of their patents? This is what you need to have for yours.

This will help you to keep track of your character throughout the story and show character developments (or lack of). It is extremely important to be as thorough as possible when it comes to writing a new person into existence, because (like I said) they are to react as real people.

With that being said, write your little hearts out!

PS I might do a little series of the aspects of characters while I am developing my own  characters, so you can come along on this journey with me as well.

It will certainly give you guys more diverse content to read!

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