Questions tagged [character-development]

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

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How do I switch between my POV and a character's POV midway a story?

I was recently writing a scene in my story, and wanted to switch between POVs of me and a character Carlie to develop her character, making her more connected to the reader; I began it this way: &...
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Truth in Fiction, Liabilities

Are there guidelines for characters who are based on real people in a fiction novel? For example, I have a character who is patterned after an eccentric local elected official. Of course, different ...
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What is the purpose of static characters?

So I decide to go on more about writing characters and how to develop them and make great characters. We have the characters that change: the characters that have character arcs, backstory, ...
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How to make a "perfect op" character not so op

As a challenge by a friend. I was dared to make a super "special snowflake syndrome" character likable despite the cliches. This is what I came up with. In a dnd-like world, supernaturals ...
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How to make a serious character interesting or likeable?

My mc is a paladin who has a fairly serious personality. He had to become the father figure of his siblings at a fairly young age, after most of his family was killed. Him being a paladin, he ...
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My character surprised me with their behaviour while writing them, should I keep that behaviour or stick to how I had planned them?

I was doing some exploratory writing without much planning/thinking and one of the characters acted in a way I wasn't expecting! In the narrative the character (normally kind/warm) is under stress, ...
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How to write Man vs. Self conflict?

CONTEXT: The action of my story takes place in a typical dystopian world, where society is harshly indoctrinated and restricted. The main character, who needs to raise money for his family, joins the &...
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Is it possible to turn a seemingly evil woman who is also obnoxious into the protagonist main love interest?

Is it possible to turn a seemingly evil woman who is also obnoxious into the protagonist main love interest? I was thinking about a story where there's this woman and she is extremely obnoxious and ...
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Are filler chapters/episodes unnecessary?

I was considering the use of filler chapters in my story, to flesh out the character's problems and daily life. These don't necessary progress the plot, but they do help the characters' relationships ...
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Can a character death sometimes be unnecessary?

Is there a time where a character's death in a story would be unnecessary? Not the main character, but someone really important to the protagonist like a caretaker/parent to advance the plot? Deaths ...
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What are some guidelines on writing the filler scenes after you lay out the plot using a beat sheet?

After writing the beat sheet, you end up realizing you need to put a lot of filler scenes and make your characters make some small talk and say things like "How is it going?", "How are ...
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How do I know if my character is a self insert and how do I avoid it or overcome it?

When I was making my characters, I was a little picky and had trouble, for I am not the best at decision making. However, when I do come up with characters, I usually get some of their concepts from ...
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Can supporting characters remain effective during long periods off screen?

My protagonist develops relationships early and gets kidnapped In my literary fiction story spanning about a decade, new relationships develop, they join with the street gang. Old relationships fade. ...
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What doesn't count as character development?

What doesn't count as character development? I think most people assume by character development, you mean that a character becomes more mature, generally speaking, so let's say the character becomes ...
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How to write a character that lost his passion , his purpose that he had for his goal after he achives it and how to revive his passion?

So that character is like any typical sports anime character who loved to play cricket a lot and fortunately was gifted and lucky enough to become a big name in world of cricket but with time during ...
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What should I do when I keep thinking that a concept of a character is boring?

The thing I usually focus on in my story are the characters. They are the ones I can do, but at the same time not. I had a concept of a character but I sometimes think that they are too generic. ...
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Should I start my book with a declaration of undying love between my two protagonists in the very first chapter? [closed]

I know most writers like to save the love for the very end (or at least writers that I've read, let me know if you're familiar with someone who does it my way), but I have a reason why I'm writing it ...
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Are there separate character development rules for plural protagonists?

If a story has a plural protagonist such as The Hardy Boys or The Goonies, you may choose to put equal weight on your characters to portray a team, and as a consequence do a lot of head hopping. My ...
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How do i decide my character's relationships

When i want to make character relationships, i include the theme of family/siblings; beit in a good or bad relationship. I want to use it, to help deepen the characters and the plot. But I have ...
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Are flash-forwards ever used as literary devices?

Flashbacks are common in books and movies. People only perceive linear time in that they only have knowledge of the past, even when those memories might seem to be artificially planted. What are the ...
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Are there different types of plot revelation?

In the movie Sixth Sense, the revelation was that the child knew all along that his counselor was a ghost. The same director-writer use this literary device again in the finale of the movie ...
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Dramatic Irony but when one character knows more than another character

Dramatic irony is when the audience knows more than the character. But what is it called when character 2 knows more than character 1? and doesn't reveal that information (to the audience either) ...
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How do I know if my cast contains too many characters?

I have one MC that will discover more about themselves, and in that, they will discover the different parts of themselves — their psychology and their hidden desires. The deeper the person, the more ...
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Looking for a job/career for main character

I need my main character to have lots of free time, but not be independently wealthy. His job shouldn't be too technical (e.g. not a programmer), but should be doable remotely. What kinds of non-...
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What should I do if I have similar concepts for characters but different roles?

In one of my previous questions, I asked about how to get solid concepts. This one is similar but I'm asking what to do if I have two characters with similar concepts but whose differences make it ...
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When do you have to kill a character?

We all know that a character dying is very common in the world of fiction. I'm struggling to find reasons to kill a character. One reason I know of is killing a character, when their whole potential ...
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How do you get solid concepts and stop scrapping ideas?

As a young writer, I usually write when I have the time; after I finish my homework or school. I find it difficult to get a solid idea. For starters, the first thing you need for a story is concept or ...
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At high level, how should I design hero's transformation?

I've been practicing writing short stories for a while and got to the point where I feel pretty confident about their quality. Now I'm moving to longer form and kicking off with a novel. I'm an ...
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4 answers
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How to give a main character a (believable) goal

I've been working on a story for close to two years, and have (almost) everything fleshed out — the world, the background, the characters and most scenes. I recently gave it to a friend to read, who ...
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Can you ignore the 7 main beats of the story, what are some alternatives?

Number One. The Back Story haunts the central character. Number Two. The Catalyst gets the character moving. It’s part of the story’s setup. Number Three. The Big Event changes the character’s life. ...
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1 vote
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Revealing the Traitor

In my three book, fantasy series, I have a character who is a traitor to the group of protagonists. The reader knows from the beginner that there is a spy somewhere because the anagonists discuss the ...
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How do I create two complementary characters, like a villain and a hero, that are designed for each other?

I'm building a D&D campaign and I'm at the point where I have to create a villain. There's also a character that will join the players a few times as a hero. In an attempt to make them more ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How to write a character as vulnerable yet capable?

So I have a character who is often very vulnerable. She's easily scared, put down, and often fails at what she's trying to do. But there are a lot of times when she gets serious (particularly in ...
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How far is too far with escalating sexual content?

I am writing about a main character who begins the story as a virgin, and over the course of the story escalates her sexual behavior from 1 on 1 heterosexual sex to prostitution and then to what might ...
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How do you make a character feel real?

how do you make a character feel like an actual person and not just a character that you're reading on a page? I'm aware that they should have likes/dislikes, flaws, a dialect, etc. But what else ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to make human characters turned into monsters devolve and abandon their humanity?

TL;DR: How can I psychologically justify why relatively normal (i.e., non-sociopathic) human beings that have turned into monsters (like vampires or werewolves) devolve into feral beasts or vicious ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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The meaning of "flat character"

The way I understand it, the term flat character is used for a character that is both two-dimensional and has a flat character arc. Here, a two-dimensional character is character that shows a little, ...
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What do you call this nose shape?

What would you call this nose shape? I'm describing a southern Chinese character (not this guy). Snub or button-nose gets way overused and is not entirely accurate in this case. EDIT: The character ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How do I write a character learning a foreign language?

A story I am writing has the main character teleported to a fictional world where no one knows their language. How do I write having them learn the language of said world naturally? It is a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How can I have readers empathize with two protagonists, when one of them is quick to kill?

I'm writing this fantasy novel in a setting during the beginnings of an industrial revolution. The main protagonist is your typical good-hearted guy who wants to be a soldier to save and protect ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How do I describe a transformation? [closed]

In my story, my main character, a young man named Irian in an industrial human society, is captured, and transformed by merfolk into one of their kind (very standard merfolk, his legs are replaced ...
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First-person, present-tense novels where the plot arcs on deep change within the protagonist's life from the negative to the positive

I'm doing research and preparatory writing on a novel and that's going really well. But I need some perspective on some of the technical issues. I need to dissect a couple of specimens. What popular ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How do you give an extroverted protagonist a dynamic character arc and make it interesting?

When looking through various stories I have often noticed that stories with dynamic protagonists are often introverted and shy in some way. More specifically, I've noted that writing an introverted ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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How do you write a character that has a different worldview than your own?

I'm trying to figure out how to write a character that has a radically different worldview from my own while still keeping it logically consistent. I know there are a lot of questions about how to ...
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1 vote
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What are ways to develop a leadership character arc or a character becoming an unexpected leader? [closed]

Good morning! I have a character in my novel who I would like to start out as unsure of her place in the group but develops into one of the leaders if not the leader. The setting is post-apocalyptic ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Writing ideas for regrets someone would have after death and how to overcome them [closed]

Not completely sure if this is the right place for this question, but I had an idea for a story involving teens that have died with regrets/undealt with trauma being sent to an "afterlife" ...
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How to make the main character and a vital person to story meet?

So for my story the main character has to meet a friend who will help them survive. However my problem is the main character is distrusting and the friend is very cautious and a bit selfish. Sort of ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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How to write characters with identities and experiences different from your own?

I am currently writing about six teenagers during their senior year at an American high school. I am struggling to write authentic experiences for characters whom I do not share the same identity. One ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Software to track multiple protagonists, bios, and timelines

This will probably be hard to explain so I'll list off what I'm looking for. Software that allows me to have more than one main protagonist. My story has five main characters and the POV switches ...
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1 vote
5 answers
194 views

How do you keep track of character timelines?

I would love to hear, in-depth, your system for keeping track of character arcs happening simultaneously in a novel. Particularly for characters' emotional highs and lows which don't sync up. I am ...
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