The Writer's Guild discussed Character Building in the last meeting. We took so many notes that I have decided to post a few at a time and eventually get through them all in the next few days.
First of all, one must reveal things about a character rather than telling. Slowly reveal things about the character as you go throughout your story. Don't try to give their whole life story and personality upon introducing them.
It takes time to get to know a character, whether he/she/it is yours or not.
Don't put your character in a box--don't claim to know more about them than your readers. Sometimes you just have to let the characters do what they're going to do. I can give an example from my own writing. I recently started another book, which I intend to turn into a trilogy. Anyway, this girl named Remedy gets pulled into another world by the wind. As soon as the wind let her go, I was going to have another character native to this otherworld find her, but instead, the following dialogue flowed from my fingertips.
"...Ah, a newcomer."
"Welcome, welcome, welcome."
"Adonai gives freedom, freedom, freedom, tortured daughter."
Remedy ran forward, away from the voices, shouting, "Who's there? Leave me alone!" She ran for quite awhile, but the voices did not cease. "Stop!" she yelled. "Stop following me!"
"Sad, sad, sad, she will not listen."
"She is scared, scared, scared."
"We should be silent awhile."
"Why, why, why?"
Before you know it, I've got talking trees in my next book. Funny, isn't it? Turns out the trees are source of the wind that pulled Remedy into the otherworld, which is called Iverna, by the way. (pronounced ee-VAIR-nah)
Maybe I'll post my entire first chapter. Should I?
By the way, I'd like you YCF people to know that I will do a post about false Christianity soon...It seems you all have beat me to it, but I didn't want you to think I wasn't going to fight this battle with you!