Developing Depth of Character

The best way to achieve DEPTH of Character is via Emotion and this is what will bring you eager readers.

If your readers are human or maybe especially if they are vampire or shapeshifters which of course, are very sentient creatures, they crave emotion in a good story – yes they do. No matter what genre or what stiff upper lip we might portray, emotion is the driving force which makes us who we are.

Your first task is to identify your two main protagonists or two main characters (perhaps hero and villain). After that, find their flaw or fear or deepest need – they might not even know themselves what this is or be denying it. From this, develop Conflict; the most important basis for character development. The easiest first step is to have the two main characters not like each other but be mutually attracted in some way. This is your introductory scene.

Now your task is to SHOW not TELL your reader how this attraction/dislike works between your characters. Furthermore, your challenge is to have only one of the characters be permitted introspection – no ‘head hopping’ please.

An example of how you can create initial conflict/dislike/attraction; Your protagonist might be a perfectionist. Their internal fear then would be failure. Your other main character might consider themselves a tower of strength – physical prowess is their keynote and their flaw is a denial of emotion in the belief that this shows them to be vulnerable. Put them together in a scene where the perfectionist is bound to fail and the strong physical character should show emotion but won’t and you have a nice initial conflict developing. There is plenty of room for miscommunication under these circumstances which can lead to some deepening scenes later in your story as each character follows their developmental arc.


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