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Character development is like baking a cake!

I think for me my character come from every day life experiences. Then I do a various pages of investigation on them. Like how old are they what do they look like? Who are their friends or enemies. I will say that most of the time my enemies are themselves. I haven’t gotten them to have bullies or nothing like that… Not bc they don’t exist but because the story hasn’t called for it or I felt the character didn’t need one. I really pay attention to how each of my characters react or act to each situation. Like Ella wouldn’t go outside to be a slide queen because she is more of the uptown type of girl who travels and goes with her Dad when he is directing a show. But you don’t ever seen that part happen in her story, it shows up in one single line from Dad. She’s a NYC/LA Latina girl who lives in a high-rise condo. Again you don’t see that because it’s backstory…One of my professors (Ron Koetge) suggests that if we are stumped in character development– one fun exercise is to build a neighborhood of where your character lives and what they do there. Some of my recent favorite characters:
Marisol McDonald
El Nino against the world
El Conejo and Coyote
El Biblio Burro
Flotand en la cancion de mama
The Wild Book
Think what makes them unique? If they are human what makes them different…
Ella (the character above) loves to experiment with her camera and stuffed animals but she doesn’t have any real friends… so she’s smart but friendship is about having fun and not having the right answer.
Another character of mine can actually make herself small with a tiny canto (song).
So make a cake and remember to add the icing and put something on top that you have always wanted too but didn’t have the guts to do it! Well do it now! No ones looking–yet!
ae