Writing Advice: Character Building

Rightly or wrongly, my character building is often hailed as one of my greatest strengths in my writing. If you click here, I reveal ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about how I do what I do. If you read this post, you will probably become a better writer than I am.*

*This post contains pos-alutely, absa-tively, zero percent hyperbole

11 thoughts on “Writing Advice: Character Building

  1. Tim says:

    I found that incredibly helpful. Character building is, in my opinion, the most important and interesting part of any story, and one of the hardest. Good plots are nice, but if the characters don’t interest me, the story won’t either. Characters that are too similar is something I struggle with, so thanks for that one. It was really good (as always) and pretty long too, as anything on character building deserves.

  2. Kevin says:

    When’s part 2 of the Lightbringer series coming out? 😉

    1. The Kelvinator says:

      This isn’t the place to ask that. Please only nag on relevant threads.

      I think there was a date somewhere, but I can’t remember where.

  3. stacie says:

    In your last post on writing advice concerning character development, you mentioned a character named Sheena who was a 19 year old girl with a spunky attitude and was way a head of her time in the ways of love. That kind of sounded exactly like a character named Sheena Fujibiyashi from a game called Tales of Symphonia. I was wondering if you were making a referance to Tales of Symphonia there, or was it just a coincidence.

  4. MsJoie says:

    I only have 1 complaint. Pleaseeeeeeeeeee build better young people in your books. Not every young person is naive, gullible and brash acting. In your Shadow books it was the young man training under the assasin who refused to teach him, but as usual a woman can turn his head over everything. Now we have hardheaded Kip, who doesn’t listen and always running his mouth with sarcasism. Oh boy. Otherwise I love your work…

    1. Justin White says:

      Liv isn’t brash. She’s the opposite of what you said. Anyway, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing if all the young characters are that way. Those characters do what we’d like them to do, even if we would keep to ourselves. I would try to mention characters from the Night Angel Trilogy, but I only just bought it. :/

    2. Grant says:

      well honestly I am a 17 year old young man and I find that I greatly relate to both Kip and Kylar/Azoth and Mr. Weeks is pretty much spot on with what I observe of myself and my friends. Us guys can be arrogant, ignorant, gullible sometimes, self righteous, and very often spew sarcastic comments. Also, a woman can turn my head and my friends heads easily and can get us to wait on her every need. So while I agree that his characters are generally as you described, they are for the most part, how most people behave and think, at least young men and boys. And its not always for action, most of the time we do things for women simply because it brings us joy to know we have made you happy and to see you girls smile.

      1. Grant says:

        kinda like puppies, eager to please and quick to believe.

  5. Dw says:

    Hi! That was useful thanks a lot. I enjoyed your books and yes i like your character developments very much.
    I’ve only written short stories ( for personal fun) because I get tired or give up all longer stories attempts. I usually become disinterested with the main concept/story idea though I was really excited when I started to write. Especially if I got to a dead end and decide I’ll take a rest for a week before continuing. Help? How do I restart an unfinished story?

    Secondly it’s that sometimes I find that my story idea seemed too similar with some other story that I’ve probably read or watch years ago and loved. I think you’ve mentioned this in your tips, in trying to think about other branches for the story that are different from others. Problem is I can’t get any ideas that won’t stray far from the message I’m trying to put across.

    Have you ever had an idea of a great conversation but got stuck In finding the plot that can support it? I sometimes have a flash idea of a line or two but it’s floating and has no foundation.

    Thanks beforehand.

  6. Steve says:

    Why does there have to be a good or evil in the story? Why not write a story that shows different viewpoints, and shows the motivations of both the “good” side and the “evil” side.

    For example, use George R.R. Martins “A Song of Ice and Fire”. There is no good or evil; the characters all do what they believe is the correct thing to do. After her neglect of her husband, and the fact that she wants all of her children to be of high importance, plus the man she loved being killed at the hands of her husband, Cersei Lannister becomes more than the scheming bitch that she was in “A Game of Thrones”. Although you don’t sympathise with her (because she IS a heartless bitch) you do come to understand her.

    Or, let’s see Eddard Stark from the same book. He’s kind, caring, but also the living emodiement of good, which ultimately leads to his doom; he’s honest, and when he finds out about the affairs of Cersei with her brother, Jaime, he tells her he knows this. Eddard ends up being murdered. He is still good, but he threatens Cersei, which means the end of her children and herself. So who becomes evil in this scenario?

    My point is, there is never a good or evil, just different sides that don’t agree with one party’s morals. Although, some authors do tend to try and make their heroes gooder-than-good, rather than a healthy grey colour

    1. Grant says:

      Usually evil motives are quick satisfaction, greed or lust, power, and easy ways to do things. good motives are generally taking pride in work well done, fulfillment, kindness, and not expecting rewards for your work.

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