Questions tagged [character-development]

Anything pertaining to developing the details associated with characters in your writing.

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Can I write a character that does not technically exist? They are an alter identity(?) of another character

I’m currently planning my characters, and wanted to grab some opinions. I’m planning to have three main-ish characters, where the third character is more of an alternate identity of the second ...
user63631's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
902 views

How can I fit a protagonist and his character arc to an existing world and plot?

I began my project with world-building. Afterward, I decided on the overarching plot, and now I'm trying to populate it with characters, starting with my protagonist. I've figured out his core driving ...
verified_tinker's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

How to describe a character dealing with a betrayal from one of their closest friends?

The character who gets betrayed is my main character, who is practically left to die by her closest childhood friend. My MC is the type of character to wholeheartedly believes and trusts in her ...
ryu27_'s user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
139 views

How do I write a major character from scratch?

I've designed loads of characters, most remaining in my head, some being written down on paper and others even having the honor of being in a book/short story. I'd like to pride myself by saying I'm ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
9 votes
10 answers
3k views

How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

I've noticed in many long-running stories that it's common to have a villain who's a genuine menace to the heroes become impossible to take seriously after they've gotten defeated or died so many ...
Nuada Airgetlám's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
41 views

Order publishing/reading book series

I am writing a series of 9 stories. The main characters of all the stories are long time friends. The timelines for the stories overlap. Many of the characters will have parts in all the stories. ...
Malabian's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
170 views

Nonbinary character who is gender fluid, changing pronouns smoothly?

I have a character that's nonbinary. I'm more looking into a good mechanical way to change the pronouns for the character every time they change their presentation. The (fictional) language they speak ...
Kim Yoonmi--Surname first's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
570 views

Is this a a crazy enough reaction for someone who isn’t the most sane person, yet normal enough to be considered a human reaction? [closed]

In the beginning of my story, my character wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment. Although they’re scared for their safety, they were sure nothing bad had happened to them that night. At first they were ...
Nabi's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
132 views

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

This is my first time writing a book and I have been noticing that a lot of my scenes are quite similar to each other. The main character has an alcohol addiction and constantly gets drunk to the ...
Nabi's user avatar
  • 197
14 votes
9 answers
5k views

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

I want to write a passage of text that makes the reader feel like the person writing it is deranged or otherwise not in the right state of mind. It seems relatively easy to write incoherent, ...
Finley Baker's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
94 views

Using the stages of grief to fall in love

I would love to utilize the stages of grief in a way to show the progression of a character's resistance to fall in love. I have some ideas for each. What are some other ideas? I have a vigilante ...
humblePancakes's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Should I change my character's name if it's a variation of mine?

I'm trying to name a character, and I found one that fits him perfectly. It makes sense for the setting, it supports the theme and his character arc, and it supports his parents' characters (mainly ...
Ravenr1r2r3's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
218 views

Looking to include hijabi character in children's book about magic, would that go against muslim customs?

A friend and I have written and illustrated a children's story about a group of kid witches that includes a girl with a hijab. I have read that magic and witchcraft are taboo in Muslim faith, should ...
Rainbow's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
132 views

How to find or create a mantra or guiding quote for a character?

I'm in the process of developing a character for a story right now, and I want to come up with some sort of mantra or repeatable quote the character can repeat to themselves over the course of the ...
Unamused Waffle's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
113 views

Should I write the 'after'?

Alright, so I just finished a really beautiful scene in my manuscript that happened during an event. Let's say it was a party. So the beautiful scene happened rather in the beginning of the event, ...
L'Yana James's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
207 views

How to slow down plot in slowburn romance?

My current work in progress is a slow burn romance between two characters who do not believe in love in their own way. MC simply does not believe in it due to bad experiences being proven, and LI (...
L'Yana James's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
71 views

What is necessary to hide your antagonist’s dirty deeds in plain sight before the big unmasking in 1POV?

This could be essentially the opposite of the question here, about introducing evil characters before they’ve done anything evil. I’m showing the “questionable” activities of a character before ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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3 votes
11 answers
5k views

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

I'm writing a science fantasy, and I'm afraid that the protagonist has too many superpowers. Here's the concept: The protagonist is Berta Newton, an isekai counterpart of Issac Newton. She is the ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
210 views

Keeping your audience after you've guilted them - what's the secret sauce?

Consider that your story has a moral that points to the simple fact that we all have committed and contributed to your protagonist's crisis. The protagonist walks through life desperately needing help,...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
224 views

Tough female character softening

I'm writing a tough, capable young female character who is savvy and can survive well in an unfamiliar society. However, she has no patience for stupidity and is quick to shoot barbed remarks. I want ...
Jim Stallan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
130 views

How do you write a succesful character development without changing your character?

In dystopias, you can't avoid the fact that your protagonist is going to be changed from their experience. Not only this, but it's important for them to change for good character development to happen....
BubbleQueen's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
118 views

How can I make my character motivations drive the story forward and not the other way around?

I'm having trouble writing my first real novel. The first three chapters in my story are dedicated to set up, introducing the main characters, and providing character motivations. However, I have ...
SmartBulbInc's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
80 views

I'm trying to find enough sensory description for my book

How do I describe when a person falls unconscious with enough sensory details?
Rex's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
180 views

How would the "one good member" of an evil organization/culture see themselves?

I have a character that is the stereotypical "token good member of an evil organization". The organization is a brutal social darwinist one that sees nothing wrong with killing people and ...
user2352714's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
128 views

How to show slow character development when switching perspectives

I'm in the process of writing the first draft of my first novel (a medieval low-fantasy). In the story, I have multiple characters who slowly get possessed over time. The possession occurs through ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

I have a character who is an expert at using language to his advantage. Both in terms of doublespeak, subtle put downs and deliberately avoiding the point and making the conversation about something ...
aurorajack's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
169 views

How do I make my character extremely upset and yet emotionless at the same time?

I’m currently writing a murder mystery novel in where the MC has to solve a murder that happened in 1998. In the climax she is fighting off the killer but then her love interest comes in and kills the ...
Kailah's user avatar
  • 215
2 votes
1 answer
110 views

How do I get my writing to be more thrilling?

I started writing not too long ago, but I've been struggling to actually make the readers get into the reading. I've been told that my writings are too "straightforward" or "too direct&...
AESOP's user avatar
  • 23
0 votes
2 answers
118 views

Writing multiple main characters, who end up being the same person at the end. Need advice

So what started as an attempt to write a memoir, I found myself struggling to commit to just one underlying theme. I also found writing about myself in different time periods, it felt as though I was ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
177 views

How can I make my character slowly fall in love with someone that already likes them?

I want to have one of my characters slowly fall in love with a boy who has liked her from the start, but I'm not sure how to Show that he likes her but not make it too obvious and make her slowly ...
FarFromBliss's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
53 views

I need some help polishing my protagonist's motivations

I'm writing a survival horror story that's a mixture between Bloodborne and The Last of Us. The story follows an emotionally distant woman and a physically disabled child as they trek through a world ...
Plop's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
244 views

Who should be the antagonist when my novel is meant to be educational?

I am writing a science fantasy novel, but I think I should re-write it completely. Let me explain the situation. Here's the concept of my novel: The story takes place in an alternate world where a ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
196 views

How do you write a magician as a character?

How would you describe a magician and his tricks? What would his daily routine look like?
supriya's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it possible to write a character that remains mysterious until the very end without sacrificing character development?

Is it possible to write a character that remains mysterious until the very end without sacrificing character development? I was thinking you can't do it to a main character, so I thought about an evil ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

Is it possible to make characters who are neurotic, who have low agreableness, low conscientiousness, low extraversion likeable?

Is it possible to make characters who are neurotic, who have low agreeableness, low conscientiousness, low extraversion likeable? I thought the only way to do this is to find something that the reader ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
4 votes
5 answers
291 views

Why is it bad to use a side character merely as a plot device?

I was writing a mystery novel about a detective who is investigating a murder case. The detective has a partner, who is a side character in the story. The partner is not given much of a personality or ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

Does it make sense to kill a character in the middle of a character arc, or in order to not finish the character arc?

Does it make sense to kill a character in the middle of a character arc, or in order to not finish the character arc? If you notice that a character arc is forcing yourself to write yourself into a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes
4 answers
152 views

Are indoctrinated characters villains or victims?

I have a half-animal, half-human hybrid character who gets indoctrinated into a Nazi-like group of other half-animal hybrids who hate humans and want for them to be extinct. She's a child when this ...
throwaway account's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
189 views

How to write from the perspective of a neurodivergent character?

I’m stalled in writing the second novel in my series because I’m stuck on how to present the antagonist. I have an outline of his character, and know what happens, but I don’t know how to write from ...
J.D. Ray's user avatar
  • 954
1 vote
1 answer
119 views

Portraying recovery from trauma in the right way

How do I show a character going from being unhinged as he gets desperate to heal and isolate himself from his trauma (yes, this happens) to actually healing from it? My story features people who are ...
Christiana's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

When should you reveal the motivations of a villain?

A common mistake in creative writing is to create a villain without a clear motivation for their actions. Every villain should have a reason for their behavior, even if it is not a justifiable one. ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes
1 answer
151 views

I have inadvertently made my character depressed... what should I do about it?

I have inadvertently made my character depressed. She's a minor character in my science-fantasy novel, and exists to tie together some of the plot lines. As I wrote her, this 18yo woman turned out to ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
146 views

How to write someone who wants desperately to have emotional bonds but pushes others away because they feel they don't deserve it?

So, the viewpoint and main character in my novel is a character who had a very bad beginning. Born as a slave, she was torn from her parents and subjected to many horrors, few of which I elaborate on, ...
Kale Slade's user avatar
  • 2,643
2 votes
4 answers
287 views

How could I write a tragic, depressed character without making them completely unbearable/hateable?

In the middle of my epic, the deutertagonist's love interest gets brutally killed off and she is forced to watch. For the third quarter of the story, she is trying to deal with the pain and trauma. ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
2 votes
2 answers
184 views

How to have subtext with a character who's blunt, direct and straightforward?

I know what makes dialogue interesting is what characters don't say as much as (or more than) what they do. How do I achieve this with a character who prides herself on 'saying it like it is', and not ...
aurorajack's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Is it ok to make characters fit unique and parodic archetypes?

Is it ok to make characters fit unique and parodic archetypes, especially when trying to write a dark, gritty and realistic story? I was watching a video on the famous film director Akira Kurosawa, ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
0 votes
2 answers
78 views

Is it more challenging to write a good story where the gods are too powerful when they're not the main characters?

Is it more challenging to write a good story where the gods are too powerful when they're not the main characters? I don't think I've ever heard of a good story where the gods are omnipotent and they'...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes
2 answers
196 views

Can I make an irredeemable character likeable?

In my fantasy epic, the protagonist is a destined chosen one who will defeat the dark lord (at least that is what the sorcerer propaganda says.) About 3/4 into the story, he eventually meets the ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
1 vote
3 answers
102 views

Can your character gain crucial knowledge off-screen?

Can your character gain crucial knowledge off-screen? Let's say your character is a young adult and doesn't know anything about geopolitics, and then there's a 2 year time skip and he's a ruler with a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

How do I show character development in a subtle and natural way?

I'm writing a 4-6 book series, with a female in her late 20s as the protagonist. It's in first person, and I'm struggling to think of how to show her development without having to spell it out and it ...
Kate's user avatar
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