Episode 124 – “Character Development!”

By Damien Newbie Writers Podcast 2 Comments on Episode 124 – “Character Development!”

The Newbie Writers’ Podcast

This week it’s just Catharine and I and we are privileged enough to have wonderful listeners who communicate with us! This week Jen Sosniak: http://www.jennifersosniakbooks.com/ tweeted us with a couple of questions. What a great idea for an entire show! If you have any writing or podcast related questions, please email them to podcast@newbiewriters.com or tweet us: @newbiewriters. Can also find me on GooglePlus too. Links to the right.

Questions from Jen:
Jenny Kushen Sosniak@dreamsofwriting

 @newbiewriters Will do! My first is how to balance likable but flawed. I’ve also been struggling w/dev of relationships between characters.

@newbiewriters I often go too fast with the dev of the romance and I don’t hit it right with the dev between antagonist & protagonist.

Character Development

Characters must grow, they must discover themselves or a ring or find strength in them.

It’s easier to start with a flaw that the character must over come, and the flaw can be part of the crisis.

Think of favorite characters – they start gruff, then turn into the perfect dad.

They start weak and become strong.

They start poor and become rich or start rich and discover love.

Think of what you want your character to realize or learn. Then back up and start with them as a mess, or perfectly happy in their villainous role. Then move that character through the trials that will help shape that character and make him or her a hero.

That’s why we read.

Now, how to do this.

Map out your character’s path, this one isn’t the plot, but the small progress or realizations that the character gathers to become a full human – ta da – at the end. We want to cheer for your character so make the problems big and interesting so the hero can overcome and triumph.

Sometimes creating that arch and plotting the points on it can help.


For all those vegetarians we talk about the meat of writing. What does it mean to get stuck into the real guts and nitty gritty in the middle part of your story?



We have so many choices for conferences and writers retreats coming up in the spring and summer. Write a quick essay on what your ideal retreat or conference looks like – where is it located? Who is speaking? What kind of food is served? Now, can you actually find a conference that meets the fantasy?

Write a political speech.


Tortured sentences:

He is depressed out of a job yet he is too prideful to do anything but what he has always known.


Word of the week:

From The Huffington Post:

A reminder of the other meaning of these popular words:

Kindle – To start a fire

Twitter – to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird.

Yelp – to give a quick sharp cry as a dog or a fox.

Shout outs:

To all the participants in Day of the Book – thank you for a great conference!


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  • Jennifer Sosniak
    Posted on March 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for mentioning me here. I struggle with character development even more than plot development. You have provided helpful insight, as well as linked your readers with meaningful resources. I get a lot out of your site. Thanks again! 🙂

  • Damien
    Posted on March 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm


    I really appreciate the questions and the feedback. Would love more of it from our readers/listeners!

Comments are closed.

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