6 Ways You Can Know Your Characters Better

These are great tips for anyone struggling with character development. Personally, I create a complete person in my mind. I use different points in my life or someone close to me to create a full human being. I also find that it helps to write in first person. Thus, actually becoming the main character. For supporting characters I write down their traits. Who they are, what they stand for, how they speak. Carly Watters has some great tips to take that one step further.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

C2 Do you ever get feedback from a beta reader, editor, or critique partner to the effect of: “Something is missing from what you (the writer) know about your characters versus what is showing up on the page.”

Writers have a tendency to bring their characters to life in their heads before they come to life on the page. Or hold on to who they thought the character was, and refrain from letting the character evolve as the book goes on–and subsequently go back and edit according.

And most commonly, through the editing process, they edit away certain characteristics or motives and forget what is left.

Below are some tips and tricks I tell my authors or writers at conferences to help them better understand their characters:

  • Letters: I love this tip. Write an open letter or diary entry from your character’s POV. Get their voice out and make sure…

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