Do you ever feel like the beginning and the end are the most interesting parts of your book? Perhaps you add unnecessary conflicts just to keep things going? The middle of the book is actually the place you can use to expand character development. The problems the characters face on their way to attempt their goal can really show how they react and who they are.
Say, for example, they have to enter a dark forest in the middle of the night. This is a great scene to express some fear. It is also a place for reactions, and each character should have a different reaction so they are not all the same. One may feel at home in the dark, another could hate everything that had happened to them and be a grouch, another could be more hopeful and optimistic, yet another could be so scared they refuse to continue on. These differences in character could possibly lead to arguments or a separation between them.
But it doesn’t have to be a spooky scene to develop character. It could even be small reactions in public places, like a mall or hotel, or, if you write fantasy, an inn or marketplace.
It always helps to have a great villain to make things worse for your character. There are three kinds of conflicts in stories: Man vs Man, Man vs Nature, and Man vs Self. Man vs Man is the most common, so I write about characters who are villains, though you could choose to have your character be fighting nature, or have a struggle within themself.
This is most likely the hardest part to write for any story. The whole book has been building towards this moment. It has got to be huge! This is the moment they have all been waiting for! It has to give more than they expected, and be greater and more surprising than they expected. You may take many breaks while writing the end of your book, but the sooner you sit down (or stand:) and write it, the more time you have to edit and work it all out. Avoiding the climax or too long could very well result in never finishing your book. And the world needs your book! All I can really say about climaxes, is to make them something the reader will remember.
Characters are who you make them to be. Have fun with designing them! Their appearances, needs, wants, fears, loves, hates, and inner desires are all the elements to great characters.
Now, once you have that, you may decide to give them a new language. It could be one that already exists on earth, but I find sometimes all the characters speaking the same language is too normal. If normal is what you are aiming for, awesome, keep it the same. However, in Irtaa Kertgo, my fantasy land, I have different languages for the creatures and humans.
Humans speak Four Shad – basically English.
Creatures speak Lyred – Whihc loosk somethign liek thsi. (Swap the last two letters of any word. I is ’em’ and a is ‘na’.)
Then I introduced Scapondel – Arhich plooks iromething plike nuhis. (Change the first letter of each word with two others according to the code of language.)
But it is always neat to have characters who speak in riddles or codes as well. You are the master of your new language, and having at least one character who speaks something other than your main language is always a cool twist. Perhaps they always have to translate or look up what they are saying.
Also, accents play a great role in character development too. How they sound and what they say contributes to their personalities.
That is it for March! In April you can read about Villains and how to make them Worthy Opponents.