“True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.” ― Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.
Consider a number of things that are wrong in a protagonist’s life at the start of the story. Listing them, either before or during development, produces a template for character development.
Character Development via Tough Choices
Inner and outer problems set the stage for tough and even impossible choices. The protagonist will have to do what she or he would never have done earlier in the book. That, in a nutshell, is character development. Supporting characters and antagonists go through this process, too, but their real job is to force the protagonist to make those choices.
Choices: Your Writing Tip
Make a list of 6-10 things wrong in your protagonist’s interior and exterior life at the start of the book. The protagonist’s tough choices in dealing with these inner and outer problems drives your story ahead.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel
Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens. She is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.
If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here.
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