The best way to experience some successful character development, is by tapping into your inner child. What do children do? They ask questions about everything!
I picked up this technique while ghostwriting. Most of the ghostwrite projects I work on are non-fiction. That’s a word that use to make me cringe just a little. I can make up a magical world and invite the reader in but retell all the details of someone’s life in such a way that it becomes a bestseller? Is it even possible to accomplish? Speaking from experience-Yes!
It takes a lot of questions though. So many questions, in fact, I have jokingly begun to label myself as the ghostwriter/therapist. Asking my authors questions like “How did that event make you feel?” “Why did it make you feel that way?” “Why is this person significant to your story?” “Why did you feel the need to say this?”
Keeping these words—who, what, why where, when, and how—at the front of your mind in every story you choose to write will always prove beneficial in the development of your characters.
Why is your character afraid to walk into the cave? What caused that fear in their life? Why is your character willing to boldly charge into the dark cave? What made them brave?
Challenge for You: Take a moment to interrogate your characters. Chose one character and “ask” them about their life. Who influenced them? Why do they respond the way they do? How did this event change them? Where do they see themselves going? What matters most to them?
Even if you don’t answer these questions for the reader because they are irrelevant in the moment, you, as the storyteller, still need to know. Because eventually all the answers to these questions will show up throughout the story in some way, shape or form.
So, as you’re writing your story don’t hesitate to question yourself. Why is your character doing what they are doing? What caused them to hate the smell of fresh bread? Why do they have a distaste for strawberries? Why do they always wear blue jeans and flannel shirts? Why are all these details relevant to your story?
There will be some answers you’ll never add to the story, they’ll be your insider information. But even if this becomes the case, they will still prove relevant to your storytelling.
Tip of the Day: Think like a child- ask questions.
#NaNoWriMo #writerscommunity #authorlife #storytelling
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.
At Teddyfly LLC, we are seeking the change that we want to see within ourselves and those around us.