Novel Building Blocks: More on Why Character Matters - article

Your characters are real. So when it comes to character development, they must be treated as living beings with a purpose. Without a specific goal or dream your characters become listless, and unfortunately they take on a terrible trait. Dare you say it: boring.

Each character must be fully described, maybe not in so many words, but in action. And their motivations for accomplishing any given task must be known. Even if the motivation is hidden, and not actualized within the character itself, the reader must be able to sniff it out to maintain interest to get to the ultimate fate of the character. Your readers must care deeply and need to protect the characters in your story. So your characters must have awareness and be self actualized. In other words, they must be real. Make you sure you know who they are and why they live and breathe in your story.

Will your character come into herself in the beginning, or will the remaining parts of the story slowly detail her coming into her newfound awareness? Or will the crux take place as a climactic ending by showing her indecisiveness as to which direction to take?

These types of questions make for not only good storytelling, but also build on spiritual truths that if properly incorporated and acted upon, afford the character far more abilities than just those of ordinary people. Your character then grows into a role model whose life is an example of the enduring human truth. Your character transcends her very own nature and her dreams become actualized.

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