Does your story span generations, and do your characters go from youth to age in maturity or chronology? One way to accomplish this and emphasize their development is to grow your characters up by how they sound.
Typically, the closer the viewpoint
the deeper the writer is within a character’s thoughts and feelings. Thus, we’re
not always conscious of the age-appropriateness of the character’s voice as we
write. But once the first draft is done, we can go back and listen to how the character
sounds at the beginning versus the end of the story to see —and hear —how much
he or she has grown.
It’s also helpful to realize that each character will vary
in degree of development and/or devolution. To emphasize these changes, be deliberate
in revealing the maturation of your character’s voice throughout the story,
especially at pivotal points, such as when they achieve their dreams — or don’t.
This will also help support for the story’s pacing.
Do you have a character who
seems flat or stuck in a developmental rut? Listen to how he or she sounds at the
beginning versus the end of your story. There may be room for growth.
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