What a Well-Developed Character Means (To Me)

You’ve all heard me say “I didn’t think the characters were well-developed” in a book review before, and I’ve gotten a request to tell you just what that means. It entails the character having qualities that

Of course I would love to tell you, and if you ever find yourself disagreeing with me over a character’s development, you can see if what you require for well-development is the same as what I require.


 My Well-Development Checklist

– The character has a well-developed background. This might include family members (deceased or living doesn’t matter), friends, special interests, or special talents.

– The character has a set appearance. I can envision them in my head.

– The character has a distinct personality. They have certain likes/dislikes, special interests, and personal taste in many categories.

– The character makes me feel emotions. Whether I’m annoyed at them or sad for them, they have the power to make me feel that way.

– The character has at least one flaw.

– I can sympathize with the character in at least one aspect. This is very broad.

– The character has a certain perspective on the world that is unique.


If only one or two (or sometimes three) of these are applicable to the character, I do not consider them very well-developed.

If three or four or five of these are applicable to the character, I consider them well-developed – with a few holes.

If six or seven or these are applicable to the character, I consider them very well-developed.

I hoped that helped show a little clarity on what well-developed-ness means to me. :)

Quick Updates:

~ Keep retweeting and following! The ARC giveaway on Twitter ends June 2, so you still have three days left to enter!

~ A review of Legend should be up soon!

~ I’m currently putting together my Summer Reading List, and it should be up soon as well.

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6 thoughts on “What a Well-Developed Character Means (To Me)

  1. Sahara says:

    Reblogged this on Creo Somnium and commented:
    As I commented to this blogger, I think a well-developed character is the MOST important part of a really good story. When I think about books that fully engage me, that leave me wanting more, the unifying characteristic is that they have good characters. As I writer, I would/do want to emulate and create this, and I wanted to share this blogger’s thoughts on what makes a well-developed character.
    What do you think makes a book or story engaging? Think about the last one you were sad to put down – what made it hard to finish?

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