Great guest post by Marc Turner over on Brian Staveley’s blog!

Brian Staveley

Characters are the building blocks of any good book. The events of a story, no matter how dramatic, won’t touch us in a major way unless we care about the characters, and the feelings for those people will hang around long after the clever plot twists fade from memory. How do you make your characters rounded and interesting, though? The first step is to get to know them as intimately as possible.

Before I start writing a book, I create detailed notes on each character. That includes their physical attributes, but more importantly it also covers their sociological and psychological traits. Where did character X grow up, and what is his social class? What was character Y’s relationship with her parents like? The first step towards understanding a character’s motivations is to understand their upbringing and development.

There are also a few special elements I look for in creating a…

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