Weekend Reading: Character Development for Writers

Our weekend reading collection is coming a bit late this week. But better late than never, right? This week's posts and resources are for authors trying to develop new characters for their fiction.

We'll kick things off with a checklist-style post to help you get to know your new characters, then get character development advice from Virginia Woolf, and finally we'll look at one particular character type writers sometimes struggle with.


5 Point Checklist to Help Writers Get to Know Their Characters Thoroughly

By Jody Hedlund at jodyhedlund.blogspot.com

There is no shortage of character questionnaires to help you map out every little detail of your characters' lives and personalities. But this one stands out because it doesn't overly complicate things. You're given five main areas to consider: appearance, personality, interest, backstory, and goals. Then each of those categories is broken down into key character points. Try filling one out for each of your characters and see if you learn anything new about them.

Read the post.

Virginia Woolf's Advice on Creating Memorable Characters

By Freddie Moore at AirshipDaily.com

This post explores character development advice stemming from Virginia Woolf's essay, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown. Takeaways include the importance of people-watching, and listening, and the value in letting your characters have contradictions.

Read the post.

The Character Most Writers Get Wrong (And How to Fix It)

By Mandy Wallace at MandyWallace.com

This post hit very close to home for me, and it should be an interesting read for any writers familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (related to personality types). It talks about the INTJ personality type, the fact that writers often rely on this personality type when creating villains, and how some authors are getting INTJs all wrong. Whether you've created INTJ characters or you happen to be one yourself, you'll enjoy this one.

Read the post.

How do you develop characters for your stories? Do you have any particular strategies or tools that you like you use? Tell us about your process in the comments below.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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