Writer Woes 4.0—Developing Characters (BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST)

If you didn’t know, I LOOOOOOOOVE characters.

And I think they’re the most important part of a story. Now, just because I think it doesn’t mean it’s right. (Or does it???) But characters are SUPER important to me, and I feel that if you don’t have well-developed characters, your whole story fails.

Which is why I’m here to talk about developing characters!

I’m super excited because HELLO CHARACTERS ARE THE BEST THING EVER, and I get to talk to you guys on how to develop them! Of course, I am TOTALLY NOT a professional on this. I may have a different method than you, and that’s COMPLETELY OKAY.

I’ll just talk about the way that I develop characters (because I don’t really know any other way???)

(Actually, I’ll be listing some main parts that you need to have when you’re developing characters. Because I’m #nice like that.)



Writer Woes is a writing advice series brought to you by MOI (May). The advice given will be decided upon by whatever MOI (May) is currently suffering with. Because if she talks about her problems, there is a 97% chance that they will be solved. (The other 3% chance is that she’ll just end up agonizing over her life choices and ranting about all her other problems. #oops)

If you have requests for any advice you’d like to get, contact me through the form on my Contact page, or let me know in the comments.

Today’s advice will talk about the main aspects of developing characters. (All of it is important so listen.)


First of all, let me show you my planning process:

  • INSPIRATION. Something inspires a story idea, and I begin to develop it.
  • PLOT. I ALWAYS develop plot next. If I don’t have a plot, I don’t know my characters’ roles in the story, and I don’t know the setting of the world.
  • CHARACTERS or SETTING. Really, it really doesn’t matter which one you develop first. However, deciding setting first may be more helpful (so you know a little part of the characters’ background).
  • GO BACK AND MAKE BETTER. Go back and make everything MUCH MUCH BETTER.

Image result for much much better gif

I’ve… SORT OF figured out the plot of my current project. I mean. It’s generic and I need to fix it, but I’ve got the basic structure down.

But through my plotting, I had to have the characters. Now I know their roles in the story (and if you don’t… WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE—just kidding; keep reading), and that will help in developing your wonderful characters.

If you don’t have a plot yet, you cannot develop the characters! You’ll be creating a backstory for them… that has no relevance to the plot. The plot is the story and your characters have to be a part of it!

“But where do I start in this oh-so-scary process, May?” you might be asking. Well. READ ON.*

*Honestly I’m being so cringy today what is up with me.


back! story!

Aka “backstory” but I wanted to be #exciting.

^^ What Google says backstory is.

The background history (hence BACKSTORY HAHAHAHA) of a character that tells where s/he came from and why s/he is who s/he today.

^^ What I say backstory is.

Mine is more complex and detailed and specific and ugh. But also punnier. (Therefore mine wins.)

Backstory is essentially why and how your character got to this place. It’s about their history and how it affects them now.

Okay, so basically it’s their past, but can’t I make things seem more dramatic???

For example, in my current novel, my character B (whose name is now Brecken WOOHOO!!!) is a hired killer. (What, it’s me. Everything’s #dark.) He works for the royalty, and Brecken kills anyone who annoys them or commits a crime or BASICALLY IS NOT LIKED BY THE ROYALTY.


But why did he become a killer? How? What was his past before this job? How did he feel when he first killed? Why is this such a big part of him now? Does he miss anything about his past life? Why?

These are the questions I’ll have to ask myself. It will be fun. I also need to find a new name for “killer” because I’m scaring people off.

Image result for running away gif

Here are some questions to get you started (I told you I’m kind):

  • What is the character’s past?
  • What was s/he doing before this story?
  • Would s/he rather be doing what s/he was doing in his/her past life? Why or why not?
  • What are some events that led her/him to be who s/he is today? OR:
  • What were some MAJOR events that happened in your character’s past that changed who they are/their life?
  • How have they developed and changed over the years, and why?

(Thanks to ma fren Julianna for helping me out with these questions. We all know I suck.)


appearance (+ general details)

“But May,” you might be saying, “how shallow is this??? Focusing on appearance before something like personality???”

Hush, yes I know. But creating the character’s appearance often makes it easier to just IMAGINE them. I mean they’re faceless blobs but at least they can be faceless blobs with brown hair, right.

And it also helps make them feel real. Because sometimes I wonder if my characters are actually REAL people but of course they are???

For IMS, I did little character profiles for each character. Appearance-wise, they included:

  • eye color (PS the most common eye color is brown so don’t be like me and make the characters all have a bajillion different eye colors)
  • hair style + color
  • skin color
  • height (I struggled with accurately representing people and their heights, so now I’m just going to do “tall”, “medium”, or “short” #smart)
  • weight (same note as above)

Then for general details I do age, gender, and personality. #WellThatWasShort

But also make sure to include specific details important to the story. For example, it’s important to know their parents, job, rank, LoI*, and DOB. So that’s why I included it in the profile. I’M HONESTLY SO SMART OMG.

*Don’t ask.



Personality is SOOOOO important. Take ME for an example. Many of you have commented on the fact that they love hearing the sass and personality in my posts (which makes me SO SO HAPPY GUYS). You might not be so Emotionally Attached™ if I DIDN’T SPEAK IN CAPS (and used parentheses) and used lots of question marks, right???

Personality (and flaws but you’re getting ahead of yourself smh*) is what makes your character stand out. They’re different traits about the character that make them different. No duh.

Image result for different gif

I like to make my characters’ personalities as diverse as possible. For IMS, here’s what I had:

  • ALAIRA: My smol child!!! Bitter, indifferent, hurt, sarcastic cold, cool, cruel.
  • MERY: Sunshine child!!! Naïve, sweet, oblivious, kind, innocent, cheerful.
  • RYET: Party rebel historian!** Loud, sassy, rebellious, outgoing, also cheerful.
  • FYNN: ME BUT GENIUSER. Thoughtful, smart (duh), hardworking, curious, determined.
  • CHISLON: …Brother??? Quiet, doesn’t like people (ME), curious, loyal.

See how they’re all different??? There are some overlapping qualities, but overall, they’re all QUITE different. Of course, it’s always good to have people who are similar, but also make sure they’re not TOO similar!

When developing your characters’ personalities, think of traits and characteristics that define them. You can also use backstory for this as well!

*This is an acronym but does anyone else just say “smuh” instead of the actual letters??? I’m sorry for my Random Thoughts™.
**Again. Don’t ask.



This is probably THE MOST important thing when developing characters.


If your characters have no flaws at all, they are not realistic! EVERY SINGLE ONE of us have flaws. Reading about flawless characters make us ANNOYED and we cannot relate to them.

And make sure they’re BIG flaws too! They just can’t be “falls every time s/he sees a bird”. Wut even.

I’m talking HUGE flaws. And because you guys love examples:

  • ALAIRA: Afraid of love. (Not in romance, but like, FAMILY love. And FRIEND love. And also romance.)
  • MERY: Too naïve.
  • RYET: Wants to be the best (aka prove himself).
  • FYNN: Afraid he is only his smarts (ME).
  • CHISLON: Wants to be the hero.

When I say HUGE, I mean FATAL. And when I say FATAL, I mean THEY COULD DIE BECAUSE OF THEIR FLAW. It won’t kill them necessarily—my fear of love killed me!!!—but like if Chislon didn’t listen to warnings and went ahead and tried to steal something when they weren’t prepared*, that could cost him his life.

Image result for dying gif

And because I’m SOOOO HELPFUL, here are the questions I ask to discover their flaw(s):

  • What do they WANT?
  • What do they NEED?
  • How do these WANTS and NEEDS contradict each other?
  • How does this form a FLAW?

WANT: Something they THINK they need. (Lie.)
NEED: Something they ACTUALLY need. (Truth.)


*This did not happen. Trust me. It did not. I swear it on my nonexistent dried mango stash.



It’s the one I try to fill out for all my characters… and horribly fail. IT’S LONG I TELL YOU. But soooooooo helpfuuuuuul. It’s full of all these details you wouldn’t have even THOUGHT of, and it makes me feel SO much closer to my characters! I SWEAR. IT’S MY FAVORITE.

(PS This was sent to me a long time ago by the dear Amelie—thank you!!!)

If you fill ALL of that out, you’ve basically developed your character. It’s that amazing.

(Except for the fact that it kind of skips over backstory but SHH I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.)

shall we chat

i hoped you found this helpful! OBVIOUSLY i missed some points, so what other things are important when developing characters? do you like developing characters, plot, or setting more? do you say “smuh”? tell me about some of the writing projects you’re working on right now! and make sure to ask any questions you have!


sign off 2.0

168 thoughts on “Writer Woes 4.0—Developing Characters (BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST)


        YES YES YES

        And also *cries* because you actually have an EFFICIENT and USEFUL system but I just splurge everywhere??

        My system:
        *tries writing story*
        *hits plot hole*
        *starts outlining*
        *hits plot hole again*
        Me: dang i regret everything now

        Okay anywayyys I NEED TO MAKE CHARACTER PROFILES (like on Facebook [I am joking]) for my characters what a smart ideaaaaaa.

        Also hahaha my character flaw is “falls every time she sees a BAT” which is much better than the bird, right?

        (And also I love your characters for IMS?? And also I cannot wait for your next writerly update??)

        Okay this is a long comment.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I actually don’t??? This is what I did for IMS. XD But I do want to make sure that I get all the points that I mentioned.

          AGH I GET SO MANY PLOT HOLES TOOOOO. Rant to me about yours and I’ll do the same. XD

          Yes! Character profiles are THE BEST! If you want I can send a screenshot of what mine looks like. 😉


          Liked by 1 person

  1. i lost my comment the first time i’m tried to write it so now i’m #depressed

    i’m actually so hurt right now because i had a draft of a post with the same topic and even though i copy you like 25/7 i can’t have the people knowing that! 😭😭😭😭😭 also my problem is i have two billion and one characters and i make them really detailed and amazing and then realize i have no plot or try to make a plot around them (spoiler: it never works) and this makes me even more #problematic. you already know all of my current characters and i’ll send you the doc once i’ve done a couple more things to it 😉 but basically all my characters are either very problematic or very pure and i love them all. also this post is great with great advice and i cry and im love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. and yeah i’m very problematic and i also have a migraine so i’m currently waiting for it to you know… not hurt anymore so i can write and actually send the thing to you 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. but i feel like i’m dying so i’m going to be mean and make u wait ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. First of all: MAY CONGRATULATIONS ON 500 THAT IS AMAZING!!!!! And secondly: this post was so awesome to read. I am currently struggling with outlining what could be a book I may or may not be wanting to write, so THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. PERFECT omg I will be keeping my eyes out for that one! And yes, writing is super exciting! I’ve written a ton already for many different books, but this new one just won’t leave my brain, I need to write it ASAP!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! *cue applause* This was awesome May! Very helpful!
    And the most important thing that I think writers need to develop a good character is their wants, like you mentioned. If every thing in the whole world goes perfectly for the character, it’s not a very good story, is it?

    So, loved this post, looking forward to more Writers Woes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *celebrates over followers* GOOD JOB MAY! 😀

    And this post was actually super helpful. *nods*

    what other things are important when developing characters?:
    Eh … so … this is weird, but I always develop the character waaaaay before I even dream up the plot. *shrugs* Most of my books come from things like, “Ooh, I want to write about a girl who has brown hair!” or, “Ooh, I want to write about a character who’s all shy and stuff!” and then I draw up the plot and stuff from that character. *nods* *is so weird* *should be shot*

    do you like developing characters, plot, or setting more?:
    CHARACTERS! What are plot and setting, even?! XD But seriously, plot is pretty cool sometimes … but still. Characters. Characters all the way, man.

    do you say “smuh”?:
    Same as you. Though I don’t really know what SMH stands for … So My Homie? Snails Meateaters Horses? Slick Moo Home? XD I’m so stupid I surprise myself sometimes …

    Ohhh, duh! Shaking My Head. *nods*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU!!! And I’m glad it was helpful!

      OMG SAAAAME. Like the idea for my current novel was from a girl named “Lilah Gracing”. And she wasn’t even the main character. XD

      CHARACTERS are my favorite part of reading AND writng. THEY’RE JUST SO AMAZING????

      So My Homie. XDD (Did you look that up? *accusing glare* 😛 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Lilah Gracing is a gorgeous name! Who cares if it’s completely random … it’s pretty. 😛

        YES THEY ARE AMAZING! I read a book that was AWFUL but totally saved by a minor character. I mean, it was still an awful book, but I kept reading ’cause I wanted to see how he ended up. (And now I’m going to badger the author to write a book about him ’cause he’s so awesome … but I don’t think the author would take kindly to it … but who cares? She must redeem herself through Finn!)

        I’m going to start saying that now. So My Homie. It makes sense to me … (And yes, I looked it up. I’m an awful person … *cowers in the corner*)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with everything you said about characters, May! They need flaws absolutely and backstories (yesssss backstories!!!!!!!)! My favorite character traits are loyalty, pride, and simplicity. 🙂 What about you (and anyone else who reads this comment)?

    I AM currently developing a character (because developing characters is far more fun in my opinion, than developing plot or setting)! She’s a six-year-old named Mable who is as gentle and nurturing as she is opinionated and stubborn. She’s also a great leader but she doesn’t know it yet. 😉

    I was very interested in your character named Brecken (which by the way is a SUPER cool name) and hope you will be posting more of his character sketch in the future!

    That character questionnaire is THE BEST!!! I will definitely be referring back to it, so thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BACKSTORIES ARE MY FAVORITEEEEEEEE. ❤ Hmm, my favorite character traits? Loyalty, sassiness, and… cleverness. 😛

      DEVELOPING CHARACTER IS MORE FUN THAT PLOT OR SETTING I AGREEEE. Ooh, that is awesome! Developing super young characters is hard, so I applaud you for that.

      Oh, yes, you'll see more of him in my Writerly Update this month as I develop him further! And his name was going to be Bly… but there were some complications. XD


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Mostly all of my stories feature young children as opposed to older characters. Something about their simplicity and innocence really attracts me to write about them.

        I look forward to learning more about your character! (And I personality like Brecken better than Bly anyway!)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I am terrible at character development… I always get carried away by the plot and then realize that my characters are pancake flat -_- . Most of the time I mold my characters to fit with plot, so uh, not sure if that’s the pest idea…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ALAIRA MAKES ME THINK OF BATMAN. everything makes me think of batman, tbh. Also I don;t say smuh but I do say tubuh. DaisyLogic.

    CHARACTERS. MAKE. THE. STORY. GOOD. I mean without good characters, Lackadaisy (an amazing stabby webcomic that you MUST read) would be… basically boring. If Wick didn’t hallucinate and if Rocky didn’t write poetry, I wouldn’t feel attached AT ALL which may just be me? Just saying, things like hallucinations, poetry, and bad puns draw me in.

    LOVED this post. Also, if you didn’t talk in caps and use parentheses, WHO WOULD YOU BE?? YOU WOULD JUST BE MAY. NOT YOUR MANGONESS. THAT WOULD BE BAD. BAD BAD BAD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YOU SAY TUBUH??? I think I say that too. XD Or “to be honest”. BUT LIKE WHEN WRITE “IKR” I THINK “I K RIGHT”. XD

      EXACTLY! Characters are soooo important, and you HAVE to make sure they are well-developed!

      Aw, thank you! I’m glad you did. And EXACTLY??? WHO WOULD I BE???


      1. Totally. By the way, I really like your character’s names. Naming is also pretty awesome. If I ever have kids no one will have heard of their names. XP

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m gonna be honest right now and say I have no idea what smh stands for. But “smuh” is much more pleasing to say. 😉

    Anyway, you have good points! Characters are usually something I struggle with (okay, I kind of struggle with everything) because for some reason I try to make them all the same, even when they’re not supposed to be. But I’m doing better! I mean, I think I actually wrote a passable male character in my Iris novella… (they all used to be the exact. same. before and also way too nice)

    Anywayyy I’m not sure which one is my favorite to develop? I really enjoy worldbuilding (although I’m trying to work on that right now and it’s not liking me at the moment) so maybe setting, but I also enjoy figuring out the plot, especially when something just FITS TOGETHER and it’s so wonderful…ahhh. But I also adore backstory. So…it’s a toss-up. What’s your favorite part?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smh means “shaking my head” but like “smuh” just sounds better on its own??? XD

      I struggle with everything too, lol. I’m planning a new novel and I’m just like HOW DID I DO ALL THIS BEFORE??? Huh, it’s weird that you try to make the characters the same, haha! Glad you’re getting better though. 😛

      Worldbuilding is FUN… but not. Same with plot. For me, there’s something about making tragic backstories that just makes me go 😍 so I’d have to say that character development is my favorite. XD


      1. Ahhh. And yep, I agree! I like “smuh” better. “shaking my unique head” 😀

        I DON’T KNOW HOW WE DO IT. WE WRITERS ARE A RARE AND UNIQUE SPECIES. Yeah…I think I get to a situation and think, “Hmm, what would I do here?” and then they all turn out the same. 😛

        Haha, tragic backstories are GREAT. I mean, I might use them a little bit too often (you know, for every character), but they’re so fun! I really just love fitting everything together, though. Like how the setting affects the characters and the characters affect the plot…it’s so puzzling and fun.

        Liked by 1 person


          Yeah… There’s just something about tragic backstories??? Which is bad. Since a majority of people in the world have okay lives. XD AND YEEEES THIS PUZZLE OF WRITING IS SOOOO HARD TO FIGURE OUT. But once you’ve got it… 😍


          1. HAHA THANKS.

            I know! I’m like, “Hmmm, if I kill off their entire family, it’ll be so cliche…BUT THE EMOTIONS.” So I obviously go for the tragic route. 😉

            Although, I think that even though most people have normal lives, they all have events & hard times in their lives that have affected them, so I guess everyone has a little bit of tragic in their backstory. (I just like going all-out and killing characters, hehe.)

            Liked by 1 person

  9. MAAAAAAYYYYY! This is awesome! How helpful and quirky and full of Mayisms! It’s so great to hear about your characters as the examples too… I agree that you really do need to know the basics of your plot and world before you can decide your characters. POV character is so essential to your story. If you pick the wrong POV character the entire story can collapse before you get to the end (they literally fall about halfway through a story, true story!) I LOOOOVEEEE Backstory, lol and loved how you explained it.

    I AM NOT TURNED OFF BY YOUR KILLER! Lol, tell me moooorrrreeee, really I love that you are striking hot!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agh I’m so glad you liked it!!! And yes, if you don’t know the role of your character in the plot — you can’t make a wise decision on who the POV character(s) will be! I LOVE BACKSTORY TOO OMG.

      Haha, more is coming in my Writerly Update, don’t worry!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! May, this was brilliant, as always. *dances round room* I really enjoyed meeting your characters properly and the questions were very helpful. Next time I’m writing a novel I will look up this post and read through it many, many, many times. *nods*

    Oh, and you’ll definitely be at 1K within no time, my friend!

    Thanks for this, May!!!


    P.S I’ve missed ‘Writers Woes’. Don’t leave it so long next time! *pleads*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agh, I’m so glad this was helpful to you, Gracie! I hope it’s just as helpful when you look it up again. 🙂

      Aww, thank you!!! ❤

      (Oh Gracie! XD I have another Writer Woes planned for this month, and two other next month — and one of them next month is one you requested. 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

  11. OMG CONGRATS ON 500 YOU DESERVE ITTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!! Characters are actually the best part of stories because in a story (you should) learn about them and then you fall in love with them and they become your children, you know???? I feel like no matter how could the story is, if you don’t like the characters, then you kind of end up disliking the book, (just me?? Okay). Writing woes are the best thing ever I LIVE FOR THEMMM (yes I am back alive) and this one was super helpful!!! Developing plot and characters and my favorite but if I had to choose, characters duh! I mean, who doesn’t love the satisfying feeling to know your precious child has finally grown and developed in their story???? SMUH????? Well, I’m working on a story for a writing contest but you already know that 🙂 I have a question, how are you so perfect??? ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWWW THANK YOU!! Yes, characters are the BEST. I totally agree with you! If a book has a blech plot but amazing characters, I’ll still read ir. But if it’s blech characters and an amazing plot… No.

      I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKE WRITER WOES, VI!!! And yaaaaas I LOOOVE to know that ny precious smol child has grown up into a precious smol teen!!!

      But I’m not perfect??? Ooh and how’s that certain story going???

      Liked by 1 person

  12. YES!!! Thank you so much for this May!! I’ve been wanting a guide on characters for SO long and I can’t tell you how glad I am that you did one. This was really helpful (and super fun to read as well!) and CONGRATULATIONS on 500 followers!!!! I’m so so so happy for you!! You definitely definitely deserve it!! 😊❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I SAY SMUH!!!!! I have found my people. I am content.

    This post was amazing, May!!! It has (recently) always been my opinion that the characters are the absolute most important piece of any fictional world. You can have the most drab storyline and world, but if the characters are worth fighting for, I will read on. I also REALLY like the questions you gave to ask your characters about backstory and all that! Those are super helpful…

    As for plot, I really don’t ‘plot’ very well. I know not how to ‘plot’. As a side-effect of this, it is usually my inclination to spontaneously create my characters before I know really anything about plot. My plot normally comes after my characters, and it’s more like my characters are forming the plot themselves…? I don’t know if that makes ANY sense… XD

    I should check out that questionnaire… It looks muchly intriguing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SMUH. Doesn’t it sound more satisfying???

      Agh, thanks! And YAAAAS I will read a boring plot if it has AMAZING characters. I honestly love characters SO. FREAKING. MUCH. Just agahgagha. And I’m glad they were helpful! I didn’t think they were that great… XD

      I used to create characters than plot too! Of course, it depends on what type of driven story you have (character-driven or plot-driven), so I forgot to mention that… XD But for my current fantasy, it’s plot-driven, so I had to establish plot first.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really does!!! SMUH!

        I know, right? I think the first time I really realized just how integral characters were to a plot was when a read The Lunar Chronicles. It wasn’t that the plot was terrible, as I really enjoyed the plot of The Lunar Chronicles, but more that I noticed how the characters drove the story forward, rather than the plot driving the characters. I was a little late to this realization, I know. XD

        Ah, yes! I totally agree! My current story is more character-driven than plot-driven, so I think that’s why my characters were created first…

        I will! I’ll definitely try it out later!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, I LOOOOVE The Lunar Chronicles! While the plot was quite awesome, the characters were even MORE amazing. I will forever fangirl about them AGAHGHAHGHAGHH.

          Character-driven plots are what I prefer, but in a lot of fantasy novels, it’s plot-driven!


          1. I know, right??? Those characters are, like, my ABSOLUTE favorites!!! I have been fangirling for over an entire year now, hahaha!

            Very true! I think I prefer character-driven stories, as well, but plot-driven stories definitely have their place in the book world! I’m not sure if my novel is sci-fi, fantasy, or a strange conglomeration of both, but I think it’s pretty much character-driven…

            Liked by 1 person

                    1. BUT SHE’S SO ADORABLE!!!!!!!! She is a smol child who is lovable and precious!!!! Everyone I know loves Wolf, but honestly I don’t see what’s so great about him, hahahahaha! #misfit Cinder’s amazing! And Kai is such a cinnamon roll so he’s definitely a favorite!

                      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is a great post May, and one I will definitely be bookmarking for when I start writing again because I love some of the tips you’ve come up with. 😀
    I agree with you that characters are the most important part of any story. I’ve read books where the lot has been so-so, but because the characters were brilliantly written it’s still been a five-star read for me. I’ve never read a book where, no matter how amazing the plot and/or world building have been, I’ve given a higher than three star rating if the character development is so-so.
    Also I’ve seen plenty of those character questionnaires around, they seem like they could be a huge help but I’ve never managed to fill one in all the way either. I think it’s a little too long for me.
    Great post May! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful!

      Oh yes, definitely! I can enjoy an okay plot with amazing characters, but not amazing plot and okay characters! CHARACTERS FIRST. And haha, yes, the character questionnaire is quite long! It’s also freeing, though, since you can pick and choose from the questions. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly. I think because we always end up connecting to the characters more than anything else we need to see they’re well developed. I never thought about that, but then again if you do answer all the questions you’re likely to have incredibly well developed characters! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. ahh girl I just love these posts! Writerly woes indeed. XD
    Could you do me another favor? Go to thecraftcabinetblog.wordpress.com and tell me if the first post shows real text or just “this is an except if your first post.”
    Thank you so much! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great discussion!! I’ve been getting super interested in character development lately and kind of dissecting what that means exactly…this post was totally on point! I love reading about how other writers create and develop their characters. I’ve recently been getting REALLY into character questionnaires…they are so helpful! You listed some great questions up there, too. 😉

    Also I love MBTI typing my characters. It helps me so much to psychoanalyze them (lol what I’m not obsessive at all *nervous laughter*) and understand them better when I can type them as an MBTI personality and then learn more about their type…but then I’m a total psychology geek anyway so it’s super fun!!

    rock on,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, character development is awesome! And it’s super fun to get to know other writers’ processes, I agree. YAS CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRES. ❤

      OH YES MTBI TYPING CHARACTERS IS SOOOO MUCH FUN. I mean it won't necessarily be accurate, but it'll be pretty close! Thanks for commenting, Abbiee! ❤


  17. Without #backstory then things won’t as to how people’s personalities are like and how they play into aspects of the plot (like danger and maybe LIKE ROMANCE COUGHCOUGHCOUGH nah that’s a bit of a long stretch xD). Speaking of lack of flaws and personality: I wonder where the name of “Gary Sue” came from. That’s always what they call characters… you know what that means.


    xoxo Abigail lennah

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was super helpful!! I like to put all the most essential info about a character on a notecard for easy access, and so that I can flip through them quickly to find good minor characters to toss into a particular scene.

    the only thing that I would add to all your advice is finding the “Mission” that the char is attempting to achieve. For certain chars in my WIP it’s not the same as the “mission” of the book itself, since each person has a different perspective/reason for being there, and I found that helped a lot. I loved how you come up with a “fatal flaw” I didn’t think of that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s a good idea! I just throw a random character in there haha.

      ACK HOW COULD I FORGET ABOUT THAT. *facepalms* Especially when I’m trying to find my charries’ missions right now. XD Yes, individual missions (or goals, as I call them) are extremely important!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I would add to this list
    1) for personality, make sure you add favourite food. very important step
    2)what are their relationships with other characters (Wait, this was already mentioned in this post #goldfishmoemnts)
    4) WEIRD HABITS – stories they’ve been told?
    I don’t know which I like developing more, but I like developing lots right now. Writing projects – that story which is temporarily called ‘BLOB FISH’.

    yes we know may, you love characters – you have ranted about them a numerous amount of times. BUT I LOVE CHARRIES(not cherries of course) TOO!

    I’m glad you put in the order in which you like PLAN because I so needed help on that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So characters are like last COOLIO. Right now, I’m developing my plot and #FAILING

    MAY, you just rambled about backstories forever (and everly) but for some reason, I can’t think of like GOOD backstories for my characters. WAIIIT, I’m developing my plot, STOP! THANK YOU FOR THOSE QUESTIONS *saves to Google Keep*.

    AHH, but imagining characters is THE WORST THING EVER. Like how am I supposed to describe them, if when they’re described for me in books, I still can’t imagine them? IT’s IMPOSSIBLE (the impossible just takes longer, reference? GET IT, no?)

    I feel like personality is just a little easier but I feel like you know characters can’t be defined as like ‘angry’ but like ‘gets angry easily’ also are you allowed to like have descriptions of their personality at the beginning, and then a different one in the middle and one at them end, but obviously certain personality traits? IS THIS BREAKING LAWS?




    yes yes, i found this very helpful, indeed. BUT NOT AT THE MOMENT i haven’t got to this point yet #sorrynotsorry

    P.S I’m so late on comment SORRY

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NO STOP HAVING SUCH LONG COMMENTS ASDFGJKL (I mean I love them but why do you do this to yourself.)

      YES FAVORITE FOODS OMG. Oh, I must know more about the mysterious “BLOB FISH”. TELL ME ALL.


      And well, I’m not doing charries last (I’m doing setting last because AGHAHGHA I’M DREADING THE WORLDBUILDING), but it depends! I also forgot to mention that if your story is plot-driven, you should focus on plot first, but if your story is CHARACTER-driven, do characters first and plot later.


      Oh my gosh, I cannot for the life of me imagine what charries look like??? LIKE NO. I CANNOT, GOOD SIR.

      Wait restate this question again.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do what to myself! My SOUL IS A LONG COMMENT. The Blob Fish is dying. AND OF COURSE, you shall know about it soon! I just have to make sure everything…is up and running *laughs evilly*

        OH OKAY THANK YOU FOR THE TIP, MAY! You should totally watch the Sherlock series. I think there is like 5 seasons? And the episodes range from like 1 hour to 1 and a half hours – miny movies

        Liked by 1 person

  20. This series is gonna be SOOO helpful for me once my summer break starts, because I’m going to start writing a story then! Your Writer’s Woes is making me desperate to start writing my own story….thank youuuu for another awesome post😊 (so jealous of how awesome your posts always turn out!!!😭😭)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Love this! Very helpful! Definitely going to use this techniques in my writing! Putting all the info down some where will be a massive help! Anyway, congrats on getting 500!!!! ♥♥♥ 😀 😀 😀 So happy for you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. First of all, congratulations on all the followers, May! Also, if you remember, who told you you’d gain like thousands and thousands of followers in no time, just a couple days ago? Not saying I’m like, seeing the future but well… 😛
    This is such a great and helpful post – and somethin I’m definitely going to use for my characters to be shaped a bit better. for now I’m writing everything but whenever I go back to it once I’m done, I’ll proably have to flesh them out better and everything and this will help for sure 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you! ❤ And pfft, what? Nobody said this… Who are you referring to, Marie…? XD

      Oh yes, if you're in the middle of writing, definitely don't stop and suddenly develop your characters! I'm glad this was helpful to you, and good luck on all your writing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. What a lovely & helpful post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on characters with us – I think they’re perhaps one of the most beautiful yet also frustrating parts of writing, & they can absolutely make or break a book for me as a reader. Also: so many congratulations on the 500 followers! Clearly, your mango-filled dominion is rapidly growing. 😉 xx

    Topaz (Six Impossible Things)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. haha u wrote a whole post on ur amazing cinnamon roll characters and here is the one thing i am going to focus on
    ok so for weight u put same note as above, which i assumed meant the note u wrote for height so u measure characters weights by tall, medium, and shirt?? XD
    (yes, ik, i am very mature XD)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. You may have noticed that I am slowly but surely catching up on your posts 😂 THAT DOESN’T MEAN I HAVEN’T READ THEM BEFORE IT’S JUST THAT I FORGOT TO COMMENT (it happens to me a lot)

    When I read THIS post however, I had a good reason why I didn’t comment right away! I was so INSPIRED and immediately started writing down things about some characters – traits, looks and FLAWS (which is so difficult but so cool because HEY IT MAKES YOUR CHARACTER FEEL SO MUCH MORE REAL) *aggressively takes notes*

    And then I realised that I need to go out and buy another journal because I need one specifically for writing! My blog journal is a mess and I don’t want to make it even messier by writing about characters and plot and all that stuff!

    What I’m trying to say is that this post was SO AWESOME and it helped me immensely and it was so inspiring and wonderful and I will bookmark this (if I ever figure out how to do that lol) and apply it whenever I need to create new characters! SO THANKS MAY 💜

    Liked by 1 person


      Anyways, I saw a snippet of your comment in my notifs and thought, AWW JACKIE YOU’RE SO SWEET! Definitely don’t commemt if you can’t/don’t want to! ❤

      And AHAGAGAHAH that makes me so happy to hear!!! I'm SUPER glad that this post was helpful and inspiring! (And flaws are so hard omg.)

      Oh yes, definitely get another journal! You'll be writing lots down. 😉 And it's so cool that you have a blog journal! What do you put in it?

      I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!!! (And GASP. You don't know how to bookmark??? What browser do you use?) YOU ARE MOST WELCOME JACKIE DEAR. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah right… “ACCIDENTALLY” 😉

        I will always comment on your posts May! 💜 I’d feel so bad if I didn’t because you comment on all of mine! (You don’t have to do that if you don’t feel like it by the way!!)

        💜💜💜 omg yes flaws are so hard! You have your character traits and everything ready and then you’re like WAIT they’re too perfect and so you have to think about suitable flaws??? Umm, can I pay someone to do that for me? 😂

        I think I’ll get one tomorrow! Well, my blog journal used to be my ACTUAL journal but I haven’t written in it in ages so now I use it to kind of schedule my blogging months? Like every month I create a to do list with ARCs I have to read, books on my TBR, books to review on my blog… and then I have different sections for tags/awards I’ve been tagged in or other post ideas and stuff like that! It’s very messy so I might have to get a new one for that as well XD

        NO I DON’T! I use Google Chrome! PLEASE TEACH ME 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of course I’d comment on all your posts, dear Jackie! ❤

          And YEEES. Yesterday I finally finished figuring out all my character flaws — after working on them for days! They're SO HARD ugh.

          I definitely need to keep up with tags/awards haha! The way you described it makes it seem very organized so maybe you're just imagining its messiness. 😛

          Well, in the far right corner (on the computer), there should be a little star. Click on that and it'll prompt you to add it to your bookmark bar or a folder, and what to name it. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yay to figuring them out! I will have to buy my journal before doing any planning otherwise I’ll forget everything in like a second! 😂

            Oh believe me, it’s definitely messy! When I do these monthly sections, it always starts out very neat and organised but the farther we get into the month, the messier it gets! XD

            Ohhhhhh my god, I knew about the star thingy but I didn’t know you could rename it and put it in FOLDERS! May, you’re my lifesaver right now!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I will, I will! I’ll probably have soooooo many questions so I’ll just let you know whenever I need help! (Let’s be honest, I’ll probably need help like every day XD)

                Me??? Neat???? You should see my room, it’s SO MESSY! Like everything else in my life 😂😂

                Liked by 1 person

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