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.

Global 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.

Table of Contents:

Character Development Influences Story

A story’s heartbeat emanates from characters. Above all, their evolving 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.

Story Characters

For example, you can use the Enneagram of Personality to profile a character’s emotions and behaviors based on whether the individual feels secure or stressed. Each of the nine types has an optional “wing” component that can change a person’s profile.

Enneagram types inspire writers to create variations of characters with realistic traits.

Story Characters
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Enneagram Levels of Development

Within Scrivener, you can store these descriptions and charts showing the progression of Enneagram behaviors based on how an event influences the characters.

Enneagram Levels of Development
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