We’ve all seen those character charts to fill out when developing a new character. What’s their birthday? What is their favorite song/book/color? The list goes on and on. And while this can be helpful for those just starting out writing characters, what oftentimes happens is that you end up with a list of facts about a character, but you don’t really know them at all. Instead, published author, Shaelin, gives us 4 exercises that really give you a chance to spend time with your character and see how they would react in different situations.
As writers, it has been engrained in our heads to “show, don’t tell.” But, as novel editor, Ellen, points out, it’s not about showing or telling the reader the right thing in order for them to connect. The key to writing about emotions is actually in the character’s introspection. In other words, it’s not so much about how they react, but how they process their own reaction. For example, Ellen says when a gun is pulled, most everyone in the world would be scared. It is not unique that your character is scared. What we want to read about is how your character processes that fear, and how to they respond uniquely to that situation. Find out her other writing tips here!