How to Develop Short-Story Characters

Fiction writers interested in opening a career in e-book writing will need to learn how to develop short-story characters. That is, if they’re interested in making this career a reality sooner, rather than later. Quitting your job and putting all your time and effort into a full-length novel would eat more time than most could afford before bills are due. To begin trafficking a sustainable commerce, you’re going to need shorter e-books released more frequently. Short stories for 90 cents it is! Now you need the reader to pay attention, because your protagonist is going to transform – due to highly-relatable-human experiences – in 20 thousand words, go!

Universal Human Torch | How to Develop Short-Story Characters

Some readers think they can relate to super-heroes. I’m one of them.

Scheme the Pace of Your Story

One strategy is writing e-books with chapters following the character by the hour, or by the day. It’s more than a solution to your writing schedule. It’s an excellent way to shutter the pace of the story and build anticipation to carry your reader to the ‘About the Author’ page at the end. I recommend typing each chapter draft in one sitting. It helps frame the written snapshot of your character’s development and gives your itinerary an easy commitment if you make it a habit.

Plot Your Turning-Points

Jot down your favorite parts of the character’s role in your story on a map. Beneath them, write a diary using the character’s hindsight. Here, you’ll be highlighting the turning-points that define the character’s image.

After reviewing your chart take note of opportunities to flesh out unanswered questions. Questions like, ‘who is the protagonist? Who is he becoming?’ And, ‘how did he get there?’ are opportunities to add value to the character.

Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - Without a Face, a portrait of the Soul | How to Develop Short-Story Characters

See what happens when you don’t flesh out your characters?

These are the highlights of your story and can be easily incorporated into your book description. It’s critical that these chart-entries follow the same formula for a headline: subject, angle, hook! Subject is what happens to your character during the chapter. Angle is your protagonists changing perspective. Hooks are the unexpected or ironic elements that make me want to read the next chapter. Every chapter should end with them. Your hooks for these turning-point chapters, however, should reflect the peak of your creative talent.

Plot Your Connections

Initially you wrote a list character-diary-entries reflecting on a turning-points in their life. Now you’re going to punctuate the spaces between turning-points with connections your protagonist makes with other characters. Start with the relationships that impact the character’s personality and progress. Then add details that support the story as they become relevant to your creative-cannon.

After you’ve followed the aforementioned charting, you’re looking at a writing schedule you just made for yourself! Write out the chapters in the order outlined above, and order them for publication later. This is a creative way to adjust your focus to the parts of your character that make it memorable. Of course, writers will want to include chapters dedicated to other characters and events that influence the story. Nonetheless, knowing how to develop short-story characters will back the composition of your e-book.

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