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Writing Your Book: Fictional Character Development

One of the most common goals people have in this country is to write the “Great American Novel”. Of course, most writers don’t simply sit down and start writing when the ultimate goal is a novel-length work. Many aspects of the book need to be planned out beforehand, including the plot and characters of the story. Compelling characters bring the story to life and, in many cases, can make or break it. Fictional character development is critical when writing a book: if a writer doesn’t develop their characters properly, the entire story can seem stagnant and unrealistic.

To avoid these results, development of your fictional character should be done in the following ways:

  • Start with a physical description of your character. Are they tall, short, fat, or thin? Do they have any scars or other distinguishing traits? Keep in mind that a person’s physical appearance can affect the way people treat them and that should be taken into account in your story.
  • After you’ve formed your character’s body type, begin working on the type of clothes they wear. In real life, everybody has a certain style, even if it’s no style at all. A person’s clothes say a lot about who they are and serve as one of the first ways they’ll make an impression on others, so this detail should not be forgotten.
  • Now it’s time to develop the deeper aspects of your character. What type of personality do they have? How do they talk, walk, and think? What do they like and what do they dislike? What is their favorite color, food, or pet? As you’re working, consider how this personality might influence the story you’re writing.
  • Finally, it’s time for development of your fictional character’s background. You must be on an intimate level with each of your characters so you can weave their stories in a believable way. What has happened to them in their past that made them the person you are now writing about? What type of person are they in the present? What do they dream about for their future? Think carefully about this section. Oftentimes a character’s personal history can interfere with and relate directly to the novel you’re writing.

Your fictional character development is complete! Even though the character will take on more depth as the story moves along, your character/person has been “born”. You now have a solid springboard for the rest of your story, which will only be enriched by the work you’ve just done. So get cracking!

Once your masterpiece is finished, contact CMYK Graphix, Inc. A professional printing company, CMYK Graphix, Inc. will help you self-publish your work so it can get on the shelf and in your reader’s hands in the timeframe you want. For more information on self-publishing, contact the expert book printers at Cmykgraphix.com by calling them at 1-800-698-2071, or by emailing them today.


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