Character Development

What A Character

Memorable characters are ones that mirror real people: their feelings, experiences, needs, and goals. Challenge yourself to get real with your character by first getting real with yourself. Grab a notebook and answer the following questions as they pertain to you:

  • What emotion do you struggle with because you feel it so deeply?
  • What type of situation makes you feel vulnerable or inadequate?
  • What past mistake causes you the most regret?
  • What core moral belief is so ingrained that you live it every day?

These questions require a deep look within and put us in touch with our authentic selves. This is what readers come to the page for, so answer these again, this time as your protagonist. When you finish, think about how you can incorporate some of these vulnerable moments into your story to show readers the deeper side of your character.

Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Character Development

Body Language

When writing emotion, it’s easy to become stuck on how to express what the point-of-view character is experiencing. An exercise to try is to pull from your own memory if you feel comfortable doing so. …

Character Development

A Day in the Life

Write about the hero of your story going on the most mundane errand you can think of. Rely solely on the character to make the story interesting.

Character Development

The Forbidden Prompt

"There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable" – Mark Twain. Your character is doing something someone else has forbidden. Someone else discovers. Will there be a confrontation? Or will the …

Character Development


Create a timeline of the significant moments of your character’s life. Like many authors, you can use post-it notes or a big whiteboard to visualize your character’s life. You can easily move or add events …

Character Development


Getting started is one of the most difficult tasks that faces every writer. Julie Parsons is an international bestselling author. For this exercise, she's giving you the opening lines from some of her books. Take …

Character Development


Write a description of the room you are in from the point-of-view of a character in your work-in-progress. If the character is from another time or place, so much the better. What would the character …