realistic character development

Avoid the usual stereotypes

  • the doubtful Catholic priest
  • the tortured main character
  • the virgin heroine
  • the disbelieving police chief
  • the good/bad twin

Give your characters quirks

  • did he have an affair
  • use colloquialisms in speech
  • did they (she/he) give a baby up for adoption?
  • had a divorce
  • got married
  • sings off-key in the shower
  • first car
  • first love
  • first kiss
  • favorite food
  • childhood pets
  • what is your character passionate about? – politics, romance, the ocean, global warming, etc
  • 5 most wonderful moments of his life
  • 5 most painful moments of her life

The character is what you do when no one is watching.

How do you feel when someone disappoints you?

What scares you? What are you the most afraid of?

What would you do in this situation?

Read the obituaries. Real people have interesting histories.

Real characters have weaknesses and make mistakes. But if your character is going to do something stupid, give him a good reason for doing it!

Read a telephone book.

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Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.