Guest Post: What’s the hardest thing about character development?

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Today, The Solitary Bookworm presents J.K Hogan author of Fire in The Island. Please give her a warm welcome! 🙂

What’s the hardest thing about character development?

Character development is a slippery slope, and I think every author approaches it differently. Probably the hardest part for me is making sure I do my characters justice for the reader. Creating them is easy, I’ve been doing that since I was a child. They just pop into my head and live out their lives— sometimes they talk to me, sometimes I to them. I think writing is the only profession in which that last statement doesn’t make me schizophrenic. But it’s true! With my characters, I know every nuance of their personality before I ever strike a key.

Therein lies the hard part—striking the keys and making sure the reader is going to see what I see when they read about my characters. I’ve got to get Jeremiah to come across as a goofy yet sexy, somewhat nerdy hero—an adventurer with a hidden need for love and family. I need to show the reader that Isla is fiercely independent and afraid to trust anyone, yet deep down she’s so lonely.

Marduk, while a secondary character, was a particularly hard nut to crack. His personality is often a contradiction of itself—as he goes from ancient magical being to just a kid who likes movies, and back again. It’s hard to create that kind of duality and have it read as intentional.

All of the tiny nuances that give a character his essence can be difficult to communicate, especially trying to do so without your own thoughts and feelings coming through. I feel that if I can get all of my characters’ traits across in a way that makes the reader identify with and root for them, then I’ve done my job as a writer. They’re like family to me and I want my readers to love them as much as I do. You can read more about Jeremiah, Isla, Marduk, and all of their friends in Fire on the Island.

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