This is probably one of the most difficult things for me to do. In the past I’d simply start writing and the characters came to life, the plot magically developed, and the story came together without any effort. I wrote without focusing on any single element I’ve since been taught must be a part of a writer’s checklist.
If I know who my characters are–what inciting moment(s) in their earlier lives made them into who they are as adults, then answering each “why” (whether or not it ever comes out in the story)–will allow me to clearly see their GMCs. Once I know their GMCs, it will be easy to develop the plot and sub-plots wherein the h/h’s internal and external goals and motivations clash.
A good character arc is worth everything, and there has to be plausible reasons for their internal conflict and how they grow and change by the end. Knowing each character inside and out before I start should lead to tighter writing and more compelling characters with believable personalities.
Luckily, all of these elements made it into all my stories, but I’ll not take any chances in the future. 🙂
Happy writing, all!