Howdy Friends! I had a friend ask a writing question, and it struck me a lot of folks have similar thoughts – So I’ll share the condensed answer, just in case it’ll help others. The question revolved around character development. How much, and how fast.
The answer is, “It depends,” haha. Doesn’t everything? But seriously, it depends on the genre (a little), the scene (action, lazy, contemplative, narrative etc) and if it’s a small character, or major. First remember, no character is unimportant, so don’t fall into the trap of minimizing. Of course some are much more involved, and get more development. One important constant, is always avoid “information dump.” Sprinkle like seasoning your character development. (“He cast a long shadow,” might hint he’s a tall fellow).
A lot of development can come in dialog. My favorite method. “I saw you had a rough time yesterday,” she said. “Everything gonna be alright?” Tells the reader this character might be having trouble. The response can build on it easily. “I don’t know. Waiting to hear back from the vet.” Now we know, something is up and this character is worried. You can toss more seasoning in such as – He pulled his hat, wiped his forehead with a tan, calloused hand – Now we know he’s a big, hard working man with a problem.
Head’s up here, don’t stay on the character development too long. Get back to the story, you can add bits and pieces all along. Remember to stay true to your characters (Some writers even write bios to stay on track).
Hope this helps a little!
Go ahead, leave your thoughts and comments. How do you do it? What else do you struggle with? Plot development? Scene painting? Pacing? Might be fun ta play at this, and help each other along.
~ Gitty Up, Dutch.