Planning Your Character’s Arc

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Developing the characters for your story is not easy.  Every little detail is important when developing the relationship between the reader and your character.  Your character’s personality will grow and develop as you continue to write.  However, remember to keep your character’s voice constant throughout your work.  If your character has a sudden change in personality in the middle of your story, unless is part of your plot, you may risk losing the relationship you have built between them and the reader at the point of the personality change.

First, your character will need a name.  I find that naming my characters is hard.  It is like picking a name for your child.  Whatever you choose, they are stuck with for the rest of life.  There are a lot of websites out there that can give ideas for potential character names.  Go online and search.  Find a name that you fall in love and make the character your own.

Things to think about include character nicknames, meaning behind their name, and repetition of like names in your story.  For example, if you name a character Brent and another Bren your reader may become confused when reading your work—especially if Brent and Bren are having a conversation.  Use diversity when choosing names so that your reader can easily distinguish each individual character.  The age of your character is also important when developing their voice.  A five-year-old child will not talk like a 40-year-old adult.  Likewise, an older adult will not speak using the voice of the younger generation.

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