Character Development

How many of you writers do any kind of character building before you begin a story? The answer to that for me is...sometimes. And other times, I just start writing and the character falls into place. However, on those times that I struggle for just the right character, I begin building one.

Sometimes I get on the internet and start looking at pictures of little kids (no I'm not a stalker) or animals. It helps me to look at their faces, their expressions, the way they dress. From those photos, I can begin to think about what characteristics, flaws, quirks and personality I want them to have. And then I start jotting down all my ideas.

But I have to admit that 50% of those times, I draw a blank and could really use some help. If you are like me and need help once in awhile, I've come across a software program that really looks great. It was introduced to me by Jon Bard of the CBI Clubhouse/Write for Kids. And like him and his wife, Laura, I love to share what little knowledge I have with other writers. So below is a link where Jon is describing this software and walks you through some of the steps. It really looks like it could be beneficial and is very reasonably priced. Check it out!


  1. I do like to know my characters pretty well before I start writing, though they usually end up surprising me somehow anyway.

  2. I'm a "some timer" too. At least I was in the first many years if writing. I mean I had an idea of who my character was and then developed them as the story grew...but lately I try to know my 1st and secondary characters so much better when I start. I guess I've talked about it enough to writers telling them how I don't fully develop my characters in the beginning and then add, add, add. That's a lot of extra work. I also realized the more I knew about my characters the more they helped me write my novel...Last 5 or 6 books, I've learned to grow my characters' sketches more fully at the start. In fact I'm out on the deck working on my character for book 4 of the Samantha Cain novels -- Against Her Will. Love your blog. Thanks for the help.

  3. I usually write the story out and let the characters reveal themselves gradually, but occasionally, I would need suggestions when things just don't flow that well. Thanks for the link!

  4. I try to get to know my characters a bit before I begin a project. Silly things like who they are, what they like, what they hate. I know you can do it as you go, but I like to get some of the hard things out of the way before I start so that the writing goes smooth and I don't mix myself up.

    Thanks for the link. I'm off to go give it a looksee.

    1. Let me know what you think of it, Courtney.