All fictional characters run the risk of being stereotypical. While stereotypes do exist in the real world, you should make room for individuality when writing them into your story. Itâ€™s important to get to know your characters completely and intimately, if you want them to be believable. Here are a few simple writing exercises that will help you breathe life into your characters:
Conduct an interview with them
Pretend that you are a journalist interviewing your character. Donâ€™t be too respectful of your characterâ€™s privacy â€“ allow yourself to be prying and maybe just a bit offensive. Let your characters feel embarrassed or intimidated by your questions. This is a great way to strengthen your characterâ€™s voice, and you may even use some of your characterâ€™s answers in the interview as part your short story dialogue.
Give your character a deep secret.
Everyone has secrets, whether they are silly, mundane, or dark. You donâ€™t have to disclose your characterâ€™s secret within the story, but keeping this secret in mind as you write will definitely give your character additional depth.
Make lists for the character.
Whether itâ€™s a list of favorite movies or a simple grocery list, making lists that reflect your charactersâ€™ personalities is a good way to further acquaint yourself with them. The best part about this exercise is that you have an unlimited range of topics to choose from, and this can help you get moving when youâ€™re stuck in the middle of your story.
[tags]writing tips, short story tips, character development[/tags]