Monday, April 11, 2011

Creating Characters

Renee Hand shares her thoughts on developing characters.  She has received a Best Book Award, a National Literary Award, and a Preferred Choice Award for her children's series and adult books.  Renee is the author of the mystery series known as the Crypto-Capers. Recently, she won a Seal of Excellence Award in Storytelling for her Joe-Joe Nut and Bisquit Bill series. 

Creating characters is a very important job. Without good developoment, characters can be lifeless and dull. Too many times, writers will tell about their characters, but not show who their characters really are. In order for characters to be believable, you must make the reader feel something about them. Good description is key, but it's not enough. How may times have we read a book or watched a movie and have cried or laughed with the characters? We want what they want. We do so because we made a connection with the characters. We felt sympathy or empathy. We love or hate characters based on how the writer makes us feel about them.

When I create characters, this is what I do. My characters are never lifeless and boring. They are dynamic and evolve as the story continues; they have depth. They don't just exist and are meaningless. I put myself in their shoes and walk around. I think how I would feel if that happened to me and I share my feelings. The best thing you can do as a writer is to share your characters' feelings. You can't just tell what a character is doing. A writer must show how a character feels: their pain and suffering, their happiness and joy, and their fears. That makes a character believable—a reader can relate to that. There is more, of course, a lot more to character development, but the above is a good start.

Check out Renee's website at:  to learn about cyrptograms and how to solve the ones that are in her books.


Renee Hand said...

Thank you so much for posting this piece about character development. I hope everyone enjoys it. I look forward to answering any questions that your viewers may have.


VS Grenier said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing and I've really been enjoying your tour Renee.