Leanna, layers is a good choice of words. When I work with my students in terms of character development, it’s all about digging down into them to discover the multiple aspects of their psyche. This is why I wince when I hear this language about a character’s flaw or wound because often the working implication is there is a single aspect of their persona which is the key to everything. It may be, but not if that causes the writer to focus solely on that one psychological issue. No, every character has layers of ‘stuff’ going on in their emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. It’s up to us as writers to delve into who they are, how they are, and why they are. And in so doing, the plot emerges from that process.

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