I’ve been writing a short story for the last week or so, based on an idea I had jotted down many moons ago. The entirety of the story has already put itself together in my head, which is very handy as it means I am now left with solely the writing to do.


However, things have ground to almost a complete halt this week and the reason is one I have encountered before, character development. To be more precise, I’ve allowed myself to get far too carried away with developing one particular character, although he is the protagonist, so things could be worse.

It’s a crime story I am working on and the character in question is the police detective leading the investigation, which is set in 1931 in rural Warwickshire in the UK. I began to sketch out a few ideas for this individual when I originally got the idea for the story, but this week, as I have set about adding more flesh to the bones, I have found myself becoming almost totally obsessed with him.

I have reached a point where I know an incredible amount about the man and yet the more I write the more ideas keep flooding into my head. As of today, I now have more words written down about this one character than I have for the story as a whole. Things have kind of gotten out of kilter. So, beware the dangers of developing an interesting character for a short story, I say.

It has crossed my mind that if this guy is so very interesting then maybe I ought to be thinking of using him in something bigger than a short story. Makes sense. But, best not to go getting carried away with things for a second time. Let’s see how he performs on his first outing, then, who knows, maybe all that time I’ve been investing in him will deliver a bigger payback. In the meantime, I’ve just had another idea to add to his character notes…


Image by Ben Sweet on Unsplash









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