In every good novel, an author creates fictional characters by giving them goals, putting obstacles in their way, and creating conflicts. Authors connect the reader to a story by making the characters identify. Character development is one of the literary terms that writers often hear, but it is an essential element of fiction writing and a hook in the narrative arc of a story.
To achieve character development:
1. Establish a character's motivations and goals. Think of Harry Potter's quest to defeat Lord Voldemort, fueled by the murders of her parents. Great characters are driven by deep motivation and have a goal that they are trying to achieve. This creates interesting characters and also a story arc. The driving force of the main character should be one of the first elements of the story that you discover, as this is the motivation behind the plot that follows.
2. Choose a voice. Who will tell the story? The first person perspective allows a character, usually the main character, to tell the story using the pronouns "I" and "I". The third-person point of view is a voice that is out of the action. The narrator's perspective determines how a character's information is revealed as the story progresses.
3. Make a slow reveal. When introducing a character for the first time, don't reveal too much. Slowly reveal the information as you tell the story, just like how people meet in real life.
4. Create conflict. Conflict is a literary medium that plays with opposing forces, mainly involving the main character. There are different types of conflicts that will affect your character's decisions. For example, if you have strong characters, test their determination by facing them against something that reveals their weaknesses. A conflict can be external: creating a bad guy to confront a good character. A character can also have an internal struggle when he acts against her morals or faces conflicting beliefs. Conflict creates tension and is used to move a story forward by forcing characters to make decisions.
5. Provides backstories to important people. We all have a backstory and your fictional characters need it too. Immerse yourself in the lives of your characters and develop your story. Even if most of it doesn't make it to the side, a character's backstory will help you figure out what drives them and influence their decisions in the story.
6. Describe a character's personality in familiar terms. To create believable characters, create a personality for your main and minor characters based on the traits of real people, which will help you create a multi-dimensional, rounded character with recognizable personality traits and quirks.
7. Paint a physical picture of your characters. Describe the physical appearance of your character: hair color, eyes, height. What are your gestures? How is your body language? Describe them so that readers can imagine a more realistic picture of your character. Develop secondary characters. Create different types of characters that stand out from each other.
8. A friend (think Watson for Sherlock Holmes) or a slide (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books) can shed light on the main character's traits, strengths, or weaknesses. When you create a static character, a flat character arc that doesn't evolve much, you contrast it with a dynamic character that undergoes a metamorphosis as the story progresses.