04 April, 2020

#GuestPost :: Character Development and Writing 3-Dimensional Characters Your Reader will love by @ketadiablo

About the Author:
Check out the Author's Amazon Page
Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of gorgeous woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening, she loves to commune with nature. A pair of barn owls returns to the property every year to birth their young and show them off in the high branches of the oak trees. Nothing more adorable than these white fluffy babies with heart-shaped faces. A lifelong animal lover, Keta devotes her time and support to the local animal shelter. Emma LaPounce, a rescued feline, has been her furry companion for the last ten years.

Keta is an award-winning and bestselling author who writes in several genres: Western Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Romance. In a past life, she wrote Gay Romance. Her books have received numerous accolades, including RWA contest finalist, Authors After Dark finalist, Top Pick of the Month and Recommended Review from many top review sites, and Best Romance Finalist from The Independent Author Network.

P.S: For some strange reason, ghosts often show up in her stories.

Find Keta on the Net:

Author Blog * Twitter * Facebook 

“It’s hard to let go of your demons; they were holding you when no one else would.”

Today’s Topic is About Character Development and Writing 3-Dimensional Characters Your Reader Will love

To craft fascinating characters, you have to know them inside and out, and know them so deeply that you know what motivates them—what causes them to act.

A blogger recently asked me: How Did You Come Up With Your Characters For I Spy A Demon?
When I sat down to write I Spy A Demon, I knew I wanted a hero and heroine who knew one another in their childhoods and continued that relationship into adulthood. Of course, you have to come up with the angst they face, an angst that is big enough to separate them for a time.

I also wanted mystery to enter into the plot, for instance, why were twins, Cecily and Calder, raised by the Frost family? What happened to their parents? The reader doesn't get the answer to that question until midway through the book. The hero comes from a family with plenty of secrets, secrets our heroine is determined to uncover after her beloved twin brother dies in a mysterious accident.

Characters are born from a seed of an idea and then, hopefully, develop and grow as the story moves along. With my characters in I Spy A Demon, things are not always as they appear, characters present to the reader one way of life and really live an entirely different life. A big part of the story is the heroine's quest to separate fiction from fact, peel back the layers of the people she's loved most of her life. I think sometimes the most intriguing characters are those who advance a hidden agenda or have a chameleon-like persona that keeps the reader guessing until the final reveal.

“I Spy A Demon Was Fabulous! Chemistry between Cecily & Marcel is powerful. A twist near the end made the journey very satisfying.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
"This is a fantastic fast paced short story filled with love, betrayal, and a demon fight that will leave you saddened and breathless."⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My first story by this author and the writing was smooth. The ending was a shocker, and the story ended in a HEA." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“What a read! I love how this story gripped me from the first page and kept me paging through to the end.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you ever read a review where the reviewer points to *shallow* characters in the novel? I know I have, and that’s why I feel it’s so important for writers to give their characters depth. So what is depth, and what do you mean by “dimensional” characters?

I think it’s crucial readers understand who the characters are; what makes them tic, and particularly what the character’s identifying features are? I’m not necessarily talking about physical features, but consistency and manner of speech, body language and internal thoughts on how he/she views the world. A character is not merely a gorgeous person with eyes of blue. He/she is a composition of many events that have made him/her what they are.

Their emotions are multifaceted and often conflicting. They could come from troubled backgrounds or perhaps were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Whatever the case, in order for readers to understand and relate to your characters, writers need to delve into their history to make them likeable and real (or not so likeable in the villain’s case). It’s also important the readers believe (and can picture) the character existing before the meat of your story even begins, thus the history.

Shallow characters (one-dimensional) have no real story, no identifying aspects to their personality. They’re merely walk-ons in your novel and won’t make lasting impressions. Readers will soon get bored with reading about someone they can’t identify with or like, and will no doubt put the book down. This is the last thing you want them to do.

Two-dimensional characters might have one identifying trait or a smidgeon of history, but why stop there? Write your characters as if they are a person you’d love to know, in fact, you’re so fascinated by their thoughts about life, their opinions, you long to know everything about them, including their past.

If your hero or heroine lacks depth or dimension, reviewers/readers might refer to them as *cardboard characters* another term you want to avoid at all costs. This means they’re typical ordinary, forgettable people or par for the course in motives and goals. While writing about them, you might have hinted about a like or dislike they possess, but there you stopped, leaving the thought underdeveloped without explaining why they dislike the color purple or why the adore women in hats. What’s the history behind their abhorrence, fetish or passion?

One of the great things about writing is that you, the author, have control over the portrayals of your characters. Make them larger than life; exaggerate their habits, annoyances, likes and dislikes. Make every aspect about them memorable in the reader’s mind.

Here's a great article about Character Development on Reedsy.

Cecily’s been called home for her brother’s funeral. She’s determined to find out how Calder really died, even if it’s her last act in life.

About the Book:
Check out the Book on Amazon
When twins Cecily and Calder Sizemore’s parents are killed in a car accident, they’re adopted by the Frost family—Gus, Mae and their sons, Marcel and Elliott. Over the years, Cecily’s love for Marcel evolves into anything but sisterly.

Cecily always knew something was amiss in the Frost household. Little things belied the calm, peaceful ambiance Mae did her best to portray. Calder tried to warn her things were not as they appeared, but she didn’t want to believe him. When Calder begs her to leave Des Moines, start a new life away from the secrets, away from the Frosts and away from Marcel, she takes his advice and her shattered heart and moves to Minnesota.

Now she’s been called home for her beloved brother's funeral. There's more to the story than meets the eye. Discrepancies in how her twin died lead her back to Des Moines, and back to Marcel―the boy who stole her heart, the man whose very presence turns her blood to liquid fire. Marcel has always kept dangerous secrets, but this time, Cecily is determined to uncover the truth about the Frosts… and the truth about how Calder really died.