A to Z Challenge · Camp Nanowrimo

Character Development: F is for Fears, Family, and Friends

Character Development, A-to-Z Blogging Challenge

F is for Fears, Family, and Friends

Double-dose post for today! …okay, I’m a day behind, but I’ll catch up tomorrow. My husband and I are in the process of moving, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I couldn’t decide whether to write about Fears or Family and Friends, so I decided to do both. Enjoy!

First, Fears.

What is your character afraid of? Is it something external, like heights or spiders? Is it an internal fear, such as rejection or not measuring up to someone’s expectations? Identify the fear, and reflect on it: how would your character react when faced with their fears?

Why it Matters:

Every character should have a fear: even the strongest superhero of all has a weaker side. This makes the character more believable, and allows for more a complex development of the character.

Second, Family and Friends.

It could be helpful to write family trees for your primary characters. How do your character’s family and friends interact? Who gets along, and who doesn’t? Which characters avoid each other?

Why it Matters:

Again, conflict. No family is perfect, so family (or friend) drama could well be a part of your character’s challenges he or she faces. How does your character get along with the best friend’s parents? Do the friends approve of the love interest? Clarifying these questions helps to build stronger structures and interrelationships between your characters.

Example Character: Finnick

Finnick is one of the Resistance’s strongest allies. His intellectual capacities make him a waking phonebook, of sorts: he remembers everyone he’s ever met and almost everything he’s ever heard about them.

It’s both a blessing and a curse.

On the same token, he has an incurable degenerative sight disorder. As he slowly loses more and more of his vision, his fear increases: will he forget everything he’s ever learned? So much of the memories rely on sight.

He’s haunted by one memory he has already lost: the face of his lover, from a time long ago. She is but a faceless shadow in his memory, a heartache of times long past.

Do your characters have more internal or external fears? Do these fears impact their relationships with others?


5 thoughts on “Character Development: F is for Fears, Family, and Friends

  1. I love figuring this stuff out. Particularly family. I actually have family trees for two of my ongoing series. There are so many different connections that it’s the best way to keep track of everyone.


  2. I hadn’t thought of a family tree. I do have a page for each character though about their appearance, quirks, weaknesses, strengths, fears, dislikes, likes etc. I’ll add family onto it! Thanks for the tips.


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