Copyright by Kevin Dooley
Well, as you know, I've been going along really well with finishing my....book (I still feel weird saying that), and I've been thinking a lot lately about character development. We all know how important it is to have strong, unique characters who go beyond the traditional roles or stereotypes set up for them. And it makes for a much more interesting read to find out that a character does have a lot of depth with plenty of history and past that will keep us intrigued and engaged in knowing more about this character.
So today, I will bring you my top five resources for character development! I'm really excited about this because I wanted to give you guys a bit more than just character lists. Some are very useful, some are just a lot of fun. But, in general, I think these tools will be great on helping you get to know your characters.
1. Character Charts
I'm sure most of you have seen these before, but somehow I just love the two I found...the first one I found I really like because when you fill out the questions you can email yourself everything. And some how that is really nice if you are the type that needs everything organized.
Character Chart # 1
This first chart asks you everything from what your character's favorite number is to what their relationship with sex is...and sometimes you might think certain questions won't make a different in your novel, but just think of it like developing a person - if you were to answer these questions, wouldn't you have an answer?
The second chart I think is even more detailed than the first one, the only difference is this one you have to either print out or use it as a reference guide if you are typing in Word or something. I like it a lot better because it has many more questions to answer and the more you know your character the better, right?
Character Chart # 2
2. Personality Quizzes
Okay, I honestly didn't think of doing this before, but this is a great idea! Do you remember those Myers-Briggs personality tests? Have you ever thought of doing that with your characters? Me either! Most of the time those tests cost money (which I found out in one quick google search.) But, lucky day I found a free one (that I actually took for a class...and I just took the test now and I'm an ENFP).
Myers-Briggs Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs test is meant to show how you see the world and make decisions (and in the life of your character, that is really good to know how they will do that...)
Oh! And if you want to know what evil personality your character would have, after you have completed the test, check out this link (Apparantly, my personality type is the "cult leader." Oh fun!)
3. The "Human" In All of Us (Part 1)
Okay, we all know that day in, day out that a lot of the people we interact with have some sort of mask up. Not all of us (I'm a heart on the sleeve personality myself, so if you ask, I'll probably tell)...but a lot of people are like that.
And I like finding stuff online that reveals that human side in all of us, even if I can never really know who said it. And if you are in the beginning stages of developing your character, and want to figure out who they are...I would suggest this site:
Letters to Crushes
On this site, you will find letters to crushes - completely anonymous. Somehow, I thought, when I found this, how wonderful this would be for developing characters and their relationships. I mean, we have to know more about the world anyways to develop well-rounded characters, right? And if you are like me and you have the tendency to repeat your character type, you would appreciate being able to pluck different personality types out of the universe. And I think this would help!
4. The "Human" In All of Us (Part 2)
I'm sure you have all heard of "Post Secret"? If you haven't, Post Secret is a website where people can submit their secret confessions anonymously on a homemade postcard. I've read this book before in Barnes and Noble and it is so eye opening to the experiences everyone of us have...and I think this would be a wonderful way of getting to know people outside of your own circle...
Here's the link to the blog that Post Secret runs:
5. Draw Your Character
Okay, I had a lot of fun with this. This may fit a bit more if you are writing a fantasy or sci-fi novel, but you could probably have fun with this no matter what (if you don't write fantasy, just imagine if your character in a Halloween party)
You can draw your character using this site:
And, I would like you all to meet the main character of my novel that I created using this link...everyone meet:
So, that's my list everyone! I hope you have a great weekend, and I'm dying to know...
What writing tools do you find helpful when you are developing a character?