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How Deep are Your Characters?

Good morning, loyal Swamp followers. Today I wanted to ask you all the question–how do you add depth to your characters? 

To follow the wandering path of my mind behind this particular question, here’s the map:

Starting point:  While reading some of my fav authors lately (Gun Metal Magic by Ilona Andrews, Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh, Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire, and Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep–just the first handful mind you) my skin has been sporting this lovely green tint as I consider how they work they magic they do with their character development.

Jumps to:  I really want that depth in my stories *whine whine* .  I wonder if they sell magical potion at a discount? If so, where could I get it?

Sharp left to: If I got it, would it taste funny? You know I really should consider going out to a gourmet shop of some kind and checking out some seasonings. I need to get better descriptions of differing scents for Xander.

Quick U-turn to: How does one get that level of real personality into their characters? What emotional trauma must I inflict on my characters to dress them in such gorgeously realistic personality garments? 

Break the speed limit, cover a few miles: How much therapy would most UF characters have to under go before they were considered “normal”?

Scenic Outlook stop: Remember that workshop? You know the one where they talked about character arcs?  Okay, so we need…history, motivators, personality quirks, strengths, weaknesses, lions, tigers and bears…oh my!

Back on highway: Character depth equals making your characters into real people, which is far from easy because every individual personality is made up of a myriad of decisions, behaviors, attitudes, etc.  So I guess that means to give your characters depth, you have to…

Big Exit Sign Ahead:  Give them a chance to grow into a person through your story. 

My Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor claims I am directly challenged. After plotting out this little tangent, I think I have to agree.  However, I’m really curious, how do you think you develop character depth when writing?



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