Dear Character: Are You Real?

I know, I’m becoming obnoxiously obsessed with character development – but it’s only because I truly feel that it is something I am lacking.

So I go onto Pinterest, over and over and over again, and look for inspiration. I find all these lists – and they’re mean.

What is your character’s proudest moment?

I just want to shout to the Creation Gods, “As if I damn well know! They didn’t tell me when I shook my character’s hand!”

But that’s exactly the point.

One thing I’m coming to realize is that these are a lot of questions that I don’t even know about myself, never mind another person, fiction or not. After all, I’ve lived with my boyfriend for the last two years, we talk fairly frequently, communicate rather well, don’t hold anything back from one another – do I know his proudest moment? Nope. I could take a guess, but for certain, no, I don’t know. What about my best friend’s? We’ve been close for ten years, do I know it? Nope. My Mom’s? My brother’s? Sisters’?

Do I know mine?

I’m wondering how much I have to know of myself before I can develop a character that is real enough to walk off the pages, sit with me, and talk.

Exercises like these make me realize how little experience I have in life. I think I have experience – I’ve lived in different countries, I’ve met a great many people. But really, what have I done? If I don’t have the experience, is my imagination good enough to create characters that have?

I wonder if I’m putting too much into character development.


3 thoughts on “Dear Character: Are You Real?

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