Characters are, in many ways , the backbone of stories. If you can write good characters and maintain good tension, you will probably create a very captivating story.
However, creating good characters is a challenge. I call them 3-Dimensional characters, as I’m sure many other people do. 3D characters is what every author should strive for, although unfortunately, some published authors do notattain that.
So, how do you do it? One of the easiest and possibly the most often overlooked thing is by creating a background. It’s one thing to say that you’re going to have a characters that was raised by pirates and is now an assassin. But how did she flip over? How did being raised by pirates effect her? Were the pirates nice? Has she had any non-questionable associations? How did that relationship end? These questions are what makes a character a good character.
Another way to know that we have a good character is if the character is different and you can answer questions about the character to makes sense. For example, I’m asked what would Shad (from my novel) do in this situation. He sees someone get hit by a car; they’re still alive but obviously badly injured. No one else is nearby to help. What does he do? He would rush in there and help, but he’d probably forget about things like calling an ambulance, because he is more used to be in a society where you help each other as you would want to be and you have to do it yourself if you want it done. My reaction would be more along the lines of call for help, then go see if I can do something. (I might be in nursing school, but the idea that I’m the one who has to step in soon if there is an accident scares me.)
So, to help you find thee questions and more develop your characters, I have found these links. They were made more for roleplayers but they’ll help us writers too.
365 questions for roleplayers and writers is exactly that. I will warn you however that it is a PDF, so although you should be able to view it, it might make acrobat open suddenly. (I never liked viewing PDFs from the web until I got a preview function in safari.)
Character Questions has a few less questions, but more in categories. So if you wanted to focus on the character’s family, you can do that easily. However, I don’t particularly like the website, just to warn you.
So see what you discover about your characters now.