So I read an article the other day about numerous book stores wrapping every book in brown paper – only writing a few key descriptions of the story or characters on the front.
How amazing and creative is that right? It’s like unwrapping a present every time you get a book!
Anyway this led me to wonder – How many of us find ourselves choosing a book based on the cover?
If I’m being honest, I have on occasion found myself guilty of this; choosing my next book based on how captivating the cover is, or how interesting the characters sound.
This also makes me question from one writer to another – Do you jump in blind when writing a novel, or do you plan and thoroughly perfect a character; personality, looks, even down to the habits they have before writing?
Character development is one of the fun parts about writing a novel for me, it’s like dressing a doll up exactly how you want, and I sometimes find myself putting in things that I do myself as a character trait.
But how does one create a great character?
1. I may sound vain but looks are important; not in the sense that they have to look perfect, but essentially the description of what they look like.
Just think of it this way, your description is what paints a picture in the readers mind, so the more descriptive you are, the more detailed, then the better image you create in your readers head. Although some writers do like the reader to imagine things without any help, paint their own version of a person in their mind.
2. History of the character – this can be a key aspect in your novel, because the characters history usually makes a person the way they are today.
Did they have a happy childhood? Where are they from? What events led them to where they are now?
You probably don’t have to describe all this in your novel, but it’s good to know as the writer. You can throw in bits of information in the story so the reader gets a better understanding of certain situations.
3. Inner monologue VS. External – Are they the same?
I love making my characters quite witty and quirky in their own mind, I mean essentially you are your own best friend, right? okay maybe not, not everyone talks to themselves in the crazy way I might.
But my point is, your character could be hilarious, outgoing, and quite brave in their own mind, but when it comes to speaking they could be shy and pretty introvert.
The goal is to make your reader feel for your character, make them love them. When a reader cares for your characters, they invest more time in your story, they want that happily ever after.
And then essentially in the end it all comes down to the plot. You have to keep your readers interested, wanting to know more, craving that happy ending.
I know there’s a lot that goes into writing a novel, so these are just some main points to think about when trying to create something in your head or on a page.