Tips and Advice on How to Write a Novel
By Dennis Mellersh
Avoid stereotyping the characters in your novel
When developing characters for a novel it is easy for the beginner writer to fall into the trap of exaggerating the personality traits of characters to the point where they become almost cartoonish and melodramatic.
One way to avoid this is by asking yourself, when you are writing in-character: Would a real person act like this, or would their words and actions be more nuanced and subtle?
Ernest Hemingway had this to say about character development:
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
Although Hemingway might be said to be quibbling with the meaning of the word character, he is clearly urging us to avoid creating one-dimensional characters.