Developing Your Characters

Characters give life to a story! They can be people, animals, or even an object. Be as inventive and creative as you want. It is your story.
1.Make your character come to life with realistic dialogue (read it out loud and see if it sounds like something a real person might say).
2.Use interesting verbs which help to show the readers how the character feels or what he/she is like – for example, in the sentence: Hector walked across the room, try changing the verb ‘walked’ to something else to see how easy it is to change Hector’s mood: skipped (happy), shuffled (tired or shy), stomped (angry), bounced (energetic), dragged his feet (reluctant), tiptoed (secretive). Don’t simply use emotional words such as sad, happy, silly etc. Instead, try to write about what makes that feeling and how it happens. The feeling itself is a story.
3.Point 2 above is called ‘show not tell’ – and it is a technique which shows the readers how the characters feel by what they are doing. Use it where you can to bring the scene ‘to life’. For example, instead of saying: Judy was tired, say Judy yawned and rubbed her eyes.
4.Try opening your story with dialogue or actions as well as ‘show not tell’, instead of straight telling: So instead of – Mabel was a girl in a red dress. She had a pet dog. Her dog’s name was Ben and he was black in colour. He was lost. She was very upset and asked Mr McGregor to help. Say – “Ben! Ben, where are you?!” wailed Mabel, tears rolling down her cheeks. She ran up to Mr McGregor and tugged on his sleeve. “Please will you help me find my dog?” she asked.

Did you notice that in the second version, I haven’t told you that Mabel is a girl or that she’s wearing a red dress? I also haven’t mentioned that Ben is black, as all those details should be in the illustration!
Watch the video: Grow your characters