Character Development

As you read reviews of best-selling books on Amazon, look for the many references to character development. For example, the favorable reviews often describe how characters made readers feel.

Story Elements

A symbiotic relationship exists between characters, plot, theme, and structure.

  • Characters are who experience the story.
  • Plot is what happens within the story.
  • Theme is why the story matters.
  • Structure is how the story is told.

Character Development Influences Story

A story’s heartbeat emanates from characters. Above all, their lives capture readers’ attention and shape the story’s trajectory. For example:

  • Roles contribute to the storyline.
  • Careers often sway those roles.
  • Desires guide thoughts, choices, and actions.
  • Protagonist’s resistance to change hinders problem solving.
  • Unsolved problems create conflict and build tension. 
  • Individual and group connections affect story direction.
  • Traits and behaviors influence reactions to plot events.
  • Distinctive character voices engage readers.
  • Dialogue effects the story’s pace.

There are a variety of techniques used to develop characters. In addition, Scrivener gives you the ability to document and reference your preferred method of creating character profiles.

Character Types

For example, use the Character Types to profile an individual’s emotions and behaviors based on whether the person feels secure or stressed.

Character Development Levels

Show progressive behaviors based on characters’ reactions to plot events.

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