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  • Writer's pictureDonna Carbone

Character Development: How to Make Your Characters Jump Off the Page, Episode 016

Characters are at the core of every story. This episode dives deep into how to create characters that will jump off the page. From types of characters to creating backstory, conflict and arc, you’ll learn how to create dynamic characters to anchor the plot of your next story.

What is Character Development?


“How the reader can observe the character changing step by step throughout the narrative. They can identify development by noticing how the character's traits change as the story progresses. The plot in the narrative plays a key role in character development.” (


The 3 Ms of Character Setup by C.S. Lakin




“Everything we do is goal directed, and our biggest goal is figuring out everyone else’s agenda, the better to achieve our own.” Lisa Cron

Internal & external goals


Understanding Your Characters1. Discuss the importance of knowing your characters inside out.

a.     Creating backstories

b.     Personality traits

c.     dialogue


Tips on creating detailed character profiles, including background, personality, and motivations.

Types of Characters

1.     Dynamic character: A character who goes through some sort of change. 

2.     Static character: A character who does not change throughout the course of the story. 

3.     Round character: A character who is a fully-developed figure.

4.     Flat character: A character who does not develop or change throughout the story.

Making Characters Relatable

1. How to create characters that your audience can connect with.

2. Incorporating flaws and imperfections to make characters more human

3. The role of relatable experiences and emotions in character development.

Dialogue and Voice

1. Crafting unique and authentic voices for your characters.

2. Using dialogue to reveal personality traits and relationships of characters

Growth and Change—the significance of understanding character arcs and development over the course of your story.

1. The impact of challenges and conflicts on character development.

2. Highlighting key moments that contribute to the evolution of your characters.

3. Character Arcs





Creating Character Arcs Workbook: The Writer's Reference to Exceptional Character Development and Creative Writing (Helping Writers Become Authors) by K.M. Weiland

Writers Helping Writers Series Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

“Finding the Core of Your Character,” Launch Pad: Countdown to Writing Your Book, Emma Dhesi & Grace Sammon

“What Does your Protagonist Really Want?” & “Digging up Your Protagonist’s Inner Issue,” Wired for Story, Lisa Cron

Story Genius, Lisa Cron

The 3 Ms of Character Setup by C.S. Lakin

Examples of Character Development – Writer’s Edit

15 Top Character Traits with Definition and Examples by Jennifer Herrity

DO NOW: Download Create A Character Dosser. Start by building your character’s backstory, then choose which features, traits, experiences will be integral to the arc of your character in this story. Identify the 3 M’s. 

Hope Gibbs, author of Where the Grass Grows Blue

Donna Norman-Carbone, author of All That is Sacred

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