B.A. asked Holly Black:

How do you develop strong characters that can drive a story? Do you have any tips for overcoming obstacles in character development?

Holly Black It's not strength that drives a story, it's desire. A character that wants something, especially something specific, drives a story. Whether it's revenge, to get into a good college, the love of a specific individual, or to save the world, that desire is going to motivate the character to be a tiny, plot-generating machine.

As for overcoming obstacles in character development, I think it depends on the obstacle, but I recently read a blog post by Cat Valente, here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-...

She said "Take one (1) unformed character, be they protagonist, antagonist, comic relief, or BFF.

Give them something to want.
Give them something to hide.
Give them something to fear.
Give them something to obsess over.
Then hurt them."

I think that's pretty good advice.

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