Let’s take a look at the main character. What applies to him/her will apply to all the characters that need to be “fleshed out.” We’re talking about “Dimensionality” –– or adding proportions and scope to your main character. Readers want to read about conflicted characters doing difficult or extraordinary things. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing
Put some intrigue and mystery into your main character. What drives her? Is it something good or bad from her past? Ask these questions: “What does he regret most?” “What does she desire more than anything?” and “What or where is her deepest hurt?”
What you’ll do with dimensionality is insert quirks, attitudes and beliefs, individuality, and uniqueness. One wonderfully unique thing I remember reading in a novel: the lead female was a total klutz unless she was playing a part undercover. Then, she walked with great grace and poise. But when she was “herself” she tripped over just about everything.
Show multiple layers of dominance and submission, reveal vulnerabilities as well as strengths, and search for ways to let him spread his wings and whisper (or shout) his uniqueness to the world.
Fine–Tuning Your Manuscript
- Does my story have internal, external, and interpersonal struggles that all intertwine to form or reveal a complex character?
- Does the protagonist show different degrees of status in different social contexts? (status meaning who’s in control, and who is vying for it.)
- Have I dug deep into the shadowy haunts of the character and explored those dark places?
- What realms of character are still undiscovered? How can I find them and reveal to readers?
Adding dimensionality to your characters will add a richness and complexity to your novel. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing