As I labor over the language, I also keep my eye on my characters. Are they fully developed? Are there any holes? Are they real or at least believable?
The following "checklist" has helped me:
- Are the character traits that are relevant to the story fully covered?
- How about irrelevant traits that nonetheless enrich the character?
- What are the character's strengths and weaknesses? Vices and pet peeves? Are they shown or told?
- Do glimpses of the character's past explain his present? Is he too predictable? Or too random?
- Are his thoughts, actions, speech, and interactions with others synchronized? Should they be?
- What are the character's physical characteristics and are they relevant?
- How do his relationships with others define his personality?
- Does the manner and content of his speech evoke his personality?
- What are his motivations?
- Is there too much of me or someone I know infused in the character?
I'd love to hear about anything I missed!