|Recently, I received a review on "Character Developement" and a request to show an example of my character development. It is a wonderful idea and I will start this off with giving descriptions of characters I have a particular fondness for. Keep in mind, these descriptions are the foundations of the characters, as the story progresses more details can be filled in.
They are an elderly couple, George and Barbara, and their life long friend, Rita. George and Barbara have been married for fifty-two years and both are in their mid-seventies as is Rita. The three of them grew up together in a small east coast town.
George is rather tall, about 6', but is starting to stoop a bit as his spine contracts. He weighs about 195 lbs, love handles bulge a little over his belt. He has clear, steel blue eyes that still show intelligence and love for Barbara. His hair is silver, a little thinner than when he was younger, he keeps it neatly trimmed but knows he needs to get it cut when a lock of it drops over his eyes, giving him a boyishly rakish appearance. His only other distinguishing feature are his hands, they are large with long fingers, and rough from years of working with them before his retirement and from doing handyman work around the house. He has a penchant to wearing tan Dockers and a long sleeved matching tan shirt. During the warmer days, he rolls the sleeves up over his elbows. His plain, wide gold, wedding band is his only adornment.
Barbara is about 5'6", 167 lbs; age, gravity and child-bearing were not kind to her, so her body is a bit on the wide side with only a slight demarcation of where her hips are. She still has trim legs, that I am sure were one thing that caught George's attention when they were both younger. Yes, I still see her wearing a white cotton apron. The kind that has slotted pockets across the front of it where she keeps tissues, some bobby and safety pins, a little black cloth coin purse with an assortment of change, and a pocket comb. (George likes to tease her on occasion by pulling her apron strings when he passes behind her, all the while grinning like a mischievous boy.) She too has silver hair sprinkled through with strands of dark hair from her youth. She has a Mrs. Butterworth like face, always appearing to smile even when she is trying to be stern with Rita. Her eyes are also blue, but you can catch a trace of green in them when she is calm and serene.
Rita has pretty much lost height, shrinking down to an even 5' and weighing in at a 140 lbs. Once buxom, she is cursed with elongated mammaries that she has given up on trying to stuff into the cups of a bra and now allows them to swing free under a camisole top. Rita has a limp that she no longer notices; she has had it for so long. It becomes more noticeable when she is tired or the weather is cold and wet. She has had her hair blued to eliminate the yellowish cast and overdid it and now sports a hair coloring that any Goth kid would go for. Her last claims to her youth are big expressive brown eyes.
So, there you have it, the simple and abbreviated version of character development that you can add to and build as you see fit. I must point out one thing as I was reminded about wordy or over emphesis on characters. Only use thorough descriptions for novels, novellas, etc. If you are writing a short story, give only the important points of each character that relates to your story line.