You live in some amazing days where creative character development is possible in a short amount of time. The internet has afforded such opportunities like never before. It can be daunting task to think up and develop a character when you are starting out. I am not much at describing people off the top of my head but it helps to have some visual aids. In order to write an effective novel I need to know what the person looks like. Faceless characters simply don’t cut it for me. I have to picture a real person that somehow represent the character.

Character Development Ideas

There are various ways you can develop your characters. Here are some tips I’ve found extremely helpful for me.

1. A real-life example.Elise

When I worked on the character development of Elise, who you will read about her in Love’s Weaving Hand Book 3, I used photos from my friend, Ashley. In addition, as you will read below, I found stock photos that were close to the real-life person. Be sure you have permission from the individual before using her photos, especially if you plan to publish them in any media.

I have developed character traits and even scene ideas from Ashley’s own photos. In the process I have collected a few favorites that will serve in my descriptions for Elise’s behavior and facial expression.

Photos representing Elise from real life and stock photos.

Representation of the character of Elise with real life exampl and stock photo.

2. Stock photos.

I am really having loads of fun with st,ock photos. There is such a huge selection of them they are difficult to exhaust. They have played a huge role in my story writing to help develop scenes. When I find a photo that fits my character its like I am talking about a real person. Kind of like my character sending me their selfie 😀

Recently I found a stock photo that describes young Galina Tyndale. The picture fascinated me because even the scenery fit the Tyndale property I had already envisioned. The property is located around a hill and has an open field, tree line and mountains. The added touch of this character “selfie” helped me see the Galina Robert first met.

character development Galina Tyndale woman in open field

Robert was struck by her long dark hair, nicely set facial features and her blue eyes. He kept a stoic face and looked towards Mr. Tyndale all the while desiring to take a closer look at this young woman who immediately captivated his attention. ~Excerpt from Love’s Weaving Hand Book 2 – Matchmaker © 2017

The Galina Tyndale you will read about in Matchmaker will be much older than the picture shown but for the brief description, I needed fit quite well with a flashback scene I included.

Stock Photo Sites for You

Unsplash – Public Domain

Pexel – Creative Common

123rf – Royalty Free

*Pond 5 – Royalty Free

3. Pinterest

Now when you are not able to download and use stock photos for your personal use Pinterest comes to the rescue. I initially began with Pinterest finding photos that best suit my character examples. These are photos I am unable to publish on here but you can view them on my Pinterest board.

You can create secret boards when you begin. Later you can publish your boards and use them with your fans to give them ideas of what you picture your characters would look like. A fashionista friend of mine even created a LWH series fashion board of the various dresses the different Love’s Weaving Hand character women would wear.

Photos for Book Trailers

Something I’ve enjoyed doing is using the stock photos in my book trailers. This makes my characters seem like real people I desire my readers to become involved with. My latest book trailer development was Matchmaker. The photo I use for Galina in the book trailer is who I picture to be in Book 2.

Click here to Pre-Order Matchmaker – Love’s Weaving Hand Book 2 on Kindle Amazon

Final Tip

Also don’t be afraid to replace your stock photo for a better model that fits your character development. For example when I first brainstormed an upcoming character by the name of Molly. I pictured a dark haired bright eye woman. I found a photo online I really liked but I could not use it for my own work. I purchased a stock photo instead when I began my character development. The first picture below is the photo I initially used. A couple of years later I discovered another stock photo that fit my character much better. The new model best fit the Molly I had envisioned.



Marie Grace Reilly

Updated Stock Photo of Molly

Brief Meditation

Looking through the many stock photos of potential characters for LWH series leaves me amazed at the distinction of each woman God designed. The pictures are of real women our Lord carefully crafted.  What stories are behind the faces of these stock photos only our Lord knows. 

The scripture rightly says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made:” Psalm 139:14

By God’s grace may you be encouraged to follow after true love in Jesus Christ


In His hands,
Ann Marie Moore – Know True Love

Ann Marie Moore profile picture.

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