Questions tagged [character-development]

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

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Female character development

just wanted to see if anyone had some points or advice for me. I have a female character that I am struggling to develope. She is close to the main character, I want her to be someone that the readers ...
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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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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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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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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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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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114 views

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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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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1answer
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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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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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90 views

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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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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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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1answer
49 views

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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5answers
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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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1answer
204 views

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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5answers
172 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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How do I create OC's that I don't hate?

Before I start with writing my story, I would of course like to have some OC's (original characters --ones not taken from an existing work). I am struggling to make OC's that I don't hate. I somehow ...
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Could my character avoid going crazy?

I wasn’t sure where to put this question so forgive me if it isn’t in the right place. Anyway, I have a character who might go crazy, the thing is, I don’t want her to. She is arrested for treason and ...
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How do you continue developing characters in an urban fantasy/portal fantasy after the initial arc of adapting to the supernatural wears off?

This question is very similar to this one, but I felt it was distinct enough that it was worth asking as a separate question. In a lot of fantasy and science-fiction stories that are nominally set in ...
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How do you write character development in later entries of a series after relationships become established?

When starting a series there is initially a lot of fertile ground for storytelling because the characters don't know each other very well and are still establishing an equilibrium. As a result, there ...
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How do you introduce a new character in later entries of a series?

I had an outline for a book series in which I introduce a new character in one of the later volume to act as an introductory viewpoint character for people who are just picking up the series for the ...
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What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?

I have a number of scenes in my story that involve two or more characters talking to each other about various issues, many of which wander into semi-philosophical discussion regarding some of the ...
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How To Write a Heel Realization

Can someone teach me how to write both a heel realization and mental breakdown at the same time? I’m trying to write a highly emotional and heartbreaking scene where the central antagonist both ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to create a compelling and satisfying ending when the protagonist only has one main villain?

So the outline I have for my story is that the hero has amnesia due to the plot of the villain to kill him but he doesn't know that but eventually does since the villain figured out he was still alive ...
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Currently writing but to realize my beginning was already overused

I am halfway finished with my book and I did some little research to realize I overused one of the most common beginnings: The main character dying in the first chapter. Is it fine to keep it like ...
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How do you write pause in a dialogue without making it look flat?

At times in conversations, there are pauses for various reasons; in videos, the contexts of these pauses are clear because of the characters facial expression. But while writing, at first you can use ...
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How should I go about writing a character that is a goth?

I have a character in my story who openly identifies as part of the goth subculture. I've taken pains to make sure they have a three-dimensional personality and aspects to their character beyond just ...
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How do you convey that two characters have a crush on each other?

I have a romance arc as one of the major series-long plots of my story. In the first major story arc, the two romantic leads aren't actively together as a couple, this part of the story focuses on ...
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Novellas: How To Engage the Reader in a Character in Under 40,000 Words?

Perhaps one of the more difficult parts of writing is making the reader invested in the characters. It's really easy to make your character somebody boring and not interesting to follow in novels. ...
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How do I have my protagonist learn their lesson without pausing the plot?

I am writing a fantasy series where the protagonist's main flaw is that she feels she doesn't deserve happiness. In the mid point, the protagonist and the antagonist come face-to-face and the ...
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Is it possible to have a likable racist character? [duplicate]

My story is set in the modern world, and it's based on two POVs: a young teenage boy's POV and his great-grandmother's POV. His grandmother was born and raised in the 30s and therefore has different ...
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Does the hero have to defeat the villain themselves?

I'm writing a story where the villain is a powerful crime-boss. The hero is a young woman who is forcibly recruited into his mafia and is looking for an escape. In the end, I want to have the villain ...
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How can I make a character's dialouge sound smart?

I have an intelligent character. He's basically there just for comic relief, but also helps the MC. One of the special things about him is his dialogue. He speaks usually out of annoyance, like when ...
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Help! I have a strong concept, but a million decisions to make! How do I finish my first draft?

During the lockdown, I wrote 60,000 words of my children's fiction book. It wasn't a consistent process and as such, it has many inconsistencies and obsolete scenes. At the moment, the draft looks ...
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963 views

Are wants/needs and goals/desires the same thing? Which of these is the motivation?

I've seen many people say I should know what my character's goals and desires are. But I've also seen people say I should know what their needs and wants are. I looked at the definitions, and they are ...
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How do I make a timid, introverted protagonist sympathetic and likable?

People like proactivity and boldness. Indeed, this has been suggested to be why readers are often drawn to charismatic villains over heros, people are more drawn to the proactive, goal-oriented ...
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How do I make a headstrong female character likable and not annoying?

I have a story where one of my lead characters is a headstrong young woman. In terms of personality she is hyperactive, energetic, and charismatic, but at the same time these traits make her arrogant, ...
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How can I write a bigoted narrator while making it clear he is wrong?

Edit: I'm a bit new to the site so I'll be fumbling around trying to respond properly, but thank you all for so many great responses! xxx This is a bit of a touchy one for obvious reasons, but the ...
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Starting character alive or dead?

I've been struggling with this one for a long time and it's really kept me from moving forward. My main character starts off as a queen consort, and the death of her husband and her stepson (co-kings) ...
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180 views

How To Write A Prejudiced Likable Character

I want to keep this brief, but the protagonist in my story is a prejudiced adolescent. Her views are outdated, but the whole point of the story was to have her improve. I know flawed characters are ...
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How to a describe a character that is not remotely human?

I am writing a story that involves a creature that is specifically not humanoid. Instead of appearing as a human, it is more of ageless energy that exists in the core of a planet, can communicate with ...
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901 views

How To Not Make A "Type" Of Character?

I think that we all know what archetypes and character tropes are. They're mostly just a carbon-cutout for a character. Oftentimes, as authors, we use these to make our characters distinct. But at the ...
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How can I add more characters into my story?

I'm writing this YA Fantasy novel and I've already summarized the whole story and ending, but I really want to add more characters to it. I Have two main characters dealing with two main events in the ...
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Is it best to fully reveal a backstory in the first book?

I am currently writing the second book in my fantasy series that I plan on publishing, and I have asked a similar question like this before concerning a different character. I couldn’t take answers ...

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