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Develop Your Character to make Reading Your Story Worthwhile

March 19, 2013
Image courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at

Image courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at

Imagine you were trying to go to work one day and several roads along your route were closed, which resulted in a massive traffic jam.

In an attempt to reach to work, you took different detours, made several turns, and after hours, you ended up back home. How would you feel?

You may feel good that you’re not going to work today, but you may also feel like if you wasted a couple of hours.

You feel cheated of those hours. You ended up exactly where you started after trying so hard.

You should have just stayed at home, right?

Well that’s just how readers feel when they read a story where all the characters are exactly the same at the end as how they started in the beginning.

You can have a great plot, where interesting things happen and the story twists and turns.

Your characters are interesting, but none of them change in any way, not one, leaving the reader wondering what was the point of the story, and wishing they could get back all those hours they were cheated out of and read something else that was worth their time.

So what’s the fix?

You have to develop your characters as the story progresses.

This usually takes place naturally with a carefully planned story.

The character starts off with something wrong. An event happens which propels her on a journey. And then the moment of truth occurs where she must decide if she should continue with her old beliefs, or confront the challenge.

Whether she turns to the light or goes to the dark side is up to you, but some kind of change is necessary.

Usually, the change takes place with the protagonist. She learns and grows as the story unfolds. But if she’s a regular James Bond where nothing can change her ways and she is who she is, then this can apply to any of the characters.

So what do you think about character development? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t already, click here to read Scene from a Nightmare, this month’s trailer of my latest book, King Larsen.


From → Writing Tips

One Comment
  1. You’re so right. There was character growth in the memorable books I’ve read and then there were those which I read just to see where they were going -nowhere. A total waste of time.

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