The other week I read a review for a book by an indie author which really got me thinking about this topic. I'm not going to reveal the identity of the writer because the review wasn't complimentary, but what the reader said happens to be a ubiquitous problem throughout the writing world. And this issue is character development ... or lack of it.
This problem is ubiquitous because characters are the life and soul of the party. They are the skeleton that holds the book together. And without them there will be no story to tell in the first place.
Some writers will argue that the essence of a good story is a cracking plotline. That may be true but only to an extent. What makes a cracking plotline are well defined characters with personalities that clash. It's no good if you have characters in your book who are bland with no obvious distinctions that separates them from everyone else. This might happen in real life with friendships - people have to have some common ground for them to get on. But if it happens in a book then it isn't always a good thing.
The review of this particular book complained of just that. They said that every character was the same sort of person. They ate and drank the same things, spoke with the same words and did the same actions. The only thing that separated them from each other was their name and gender.
To receive a review like that will send chills down any writer's spine. When you're writing you want your characters to come to life and be real people. You don't want to create some flat and boring character that everyone will remember for all the wrong reasons.
Now character development is so much more than the issues mentioned above. True development of any character is all about questions. Why do they do this, why do they do that? And this is so much easier to say than to actually do, believe me.
So this is why I am giving you access to a fabulous book by a fabulous editor (and writer!). My very own editor, Scott Morgan.
You can find him and the book at this link: http://www.write-hook.com/ and let him explain Character Development: From the Inside Out.
And if you struggle with your characters this is the perfect place to get guidance.
I hope you visit his website and find his advice helpful.