Questions tagged [character-development]

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

13
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6answers
2k views

Is it bad to describe a character long after their introduction?

I have a tendency to forget to describe character's appearance. But I always describe them, though often a little while after their introduction. So, how long after someone's introduction is "...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How can I showcase the dynamic relationship between two personalities? [duplicate]

The protagonist, as a child, was born into an eldritch cult which worships the being known as shub-niggurath. His parents chose him to be an unwilling participant in a sacrificial ritual, using his ...
7
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5answers
3k views

How can I bring back a dead main character without cliches? [closed]

So I have a main character who will die at the end of the first book. In the next book he will be alive, but nobody knows it. Everyone thinks he is still dead. How can I do this without using ...
11
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3answers
4k views

Should I explain the reasons for gaslighting?

I have an ambiguous script situation, 2 co-protagonists begin gaslighting the MC. They each have ulterior motives which they don't say. The reader is intended to infer the lies through contradictory ...
11
votes
5answers
221 views

Writing the dialogue of two travelers who dislike each other

I'm currently writing a journey-focused plot arc, and I'm struggling a bit with the character interactions. To give you some background, the protagonist is a lone wolf of sorts whose job is akin to a ...
53
votes
13answers
10k views

How do I write “Show, Don't Tell” as a person with Asperger Syndrome?

I have been told by my friends that my writing seems a bit blunt in the sense of I rarely practice "Show, Don't Tell" (SDT) in my stories. However, I personally find SDT hard because...I just don't ...
6
votes
6answers
284 views

Adding depth to two-dimensional heroes from myths

For the recent writing exercise I wanted to tackle Beowulf's character. In the original saga, the hero Beowulf comes to the aid of king Hrothgar to defeat two monsters. Then, after a period of 50 ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Where's the line between confident and upfront and being a jerk?

Disclaimer: Also works for guys, if you have the problem, but genderbent. So, in my plots, I typically have a "tough girl" character in my thing. She's confident and upfront, and is stubborn to the ...
2
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4answers
538 views

Lovesick Character Distracting Readers

How do you show that a character is suffering from lovesickness in a story plot, but not distract the reader from the actual main plot of the story?
6
votes
1answer
252 views

How do you deal with an abrupt change in personality for a protagonist?

The crawling chaos, Nyalathothep, has formed a cult on the mortal plane devoted to his cause which worships him as a god. This cult has been operating in secret for thousands of years, sowing ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How is character development a major role in the plot of a story

People mostly say that the characters of a story have to be developed first, but I don't really understand why characters play such an active role. Can't the characters simply be classified as objects?...
4
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5answers
248 views

How to make a villain fall in love?

How do you show the softer side of a rough person without loosing the gruffness? I have a character that was the antagonist in one story and will be the protagonist in another where he will fall in ...
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7answers
2k views

Are these reasonable traits for someone with autism? [closed]

A little info as to the story: 'Lily' was abandoned when she was young. She is a Deviant, a group of people who are born with powers, and across the universe either seen as either blasphemies, ...
20
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6answers
3k views

How do you earn the reader's trust?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a problem. After releasing an issue, I think that I failed to earn the trust of my readers. My analysis is that they did not have enough faith in me to make the "right ...
3
votes
4answers
249 views

Where is the line between a tough love character and a pure asshole?

So, I have a character who was going to just be an unlikable character at the start of the novel, but now I want to make her more caring towards certain people, like the innocent character. Thing is, ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

How to change the readers opinion of a character?

So, I have a character who starts off a complete ass to everyone. She hates the world, especially the protagonist. Then again, she had no parents to her memory, her people are enslaved and ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

An appropriate way to seek suicide resources (as an author)

I'm doing the analysis for several characters who happen to be contemplating taking their own lives. While I'm not someone interested in this myself, I'd like to seek resources without wasting the ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

How do you “develop characters” using an event driven format?

For instance, in my high school novel, I have the main characters attend a football game, the Homecoming Dance, the basketball game, other dances, the Prom, etc. Then I have the characters react to, ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

How do I write a “take action” scene for a play?

Here is what I mean. My character- Violet- started the play with a lofty attitude, but now her pride has been broken by her mother's death and betrayal of a friend. The scene begins with her reuniting ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Many sexual situations, but no actual sex scenes?

My guile heroine's character arc is almost entirely sex and manipulation. I tell (not show) she was a sex worker in the past, it's left ambiguous (likely) that she still is. She has powerplay scenes ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

I have a unique character that I'm having a problem writing. He's a virus!

Yes, you read that correctly. My villain character is literally a virus. He thinks and behaves just like any other character does, mentally and personality-wise, but his body is best described as a ...
6
votes
2answers
197 views

How can I push a protagonist to a moral event horizon without making them a sympathetic Sue?

We human beings have no control over our destiny, and it is arrogant and foolish to think as such. Our fates are decided by a group of dark gods who control the strings of time. It is they who design ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

How should I write a VN using John Truby's 22 steps?

I am writing a mystery with multiple endings using John Truby's 22 steps. Originally I thought that I could do it like so: The playable character is not the hero but still has a narrative drive. There ...
11
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3answers
1k views

How to handle characters who are more educated than the author?

This is inspired by a few things that have been breaking my immersion when reading Worm. The main protagonist is a teen, and most chapters are first-person POV, so grammatical casualness fits. I don'...
23
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I create uniquely male characters?

In How to write strong female characters, Standback says that the best way to write a strong female character is to make her uniquely female, the type of character that can not possibly be male and ...
4
votes
4answers
177 views

How to write about trauma I never experienced

So, in a story, I have a girl who has been ritually abused and raped by her father for being born, as he wanted sons to continue his bloodline. Thing is, this sort of thing has never happened to me. ...
9
votes
5answers
955 views

Does detail obscure or enhance action?

I have two versions of a pivotal scene in my novel (both already written). My SP is a rather impulsive young woman who is learning to be a bit less of a hothead. She saves the MC by literally taking ...
6
votes
3answers
265 views

How to write about a homosexual relationship when I haven't experienced one?

I have two female characters, one who is lesbian, and the other bisexual. However, I am male. So not only am I to write the opposite gender, which I actually feel more comfortable doing, for some odd ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

How to show that a character cares for another, but is also clumsy?

This is about a father who returns after a particularly long journey. Typically, he's not available very often anyway, but he deeply cares about his daughter. He also fails at behaving like a father ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

How to compactly explain secondary and tertiary characters without resorting to stereotypes?

Sure, I understand the characters, but that's because I've been thinking about them. But how do I transfer that knowledge to the reader without taking the time and space to flesh them out further?? ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How to keep a dark protagonist who wants to keep his humanity dark?

My MC is in a dark line of work. He is an assassin. He is also someone with lines he does not cross. He has been duped or coerced to do things he would not, but still holds to some standards. I want ...
40
votes
13answers
15k views

Avoiding the “not like other girls” trope?

The "not like other girls" trope is pretty common in young adult fiction, arguably misogynistic, and usually applied to a female protagonist or love interest. Attempts to make a female character ...
3
votes
0answers
92 views

Trials to claim a throne [closed]

My novel is about a girl who is the heir to the throne of Helheim, the Norse world of the dead, but in order to claim the throne she has to pass a 3 part trial. I’m having a hard time coming up with ...
10
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5answers
515 views

Beyond letters and diaries—exercises to explore characters' personalities and motivation

For a few of my imaginary worlds, my characters write letters to each other. These letters are never intended to be surfaced in the main story, they are my exploration of the characters' feelings and ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Describing Pain in First Person Present Tense [duplicate]

Just a scene I pictured- (Character receives a syringe in the chest but doesn't feel the after pain until a moment later) Ex: Johnny begins to feel a burning like sensation in his chest that's more ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

How much character growth crosses the line into breaking the character

(not a duplicate of Character Development - How much is too much? because that one is more about "overreaction" to smaller events.) TL;DR: How much can a character change without becoming ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

When must a character grow beyond their archetype?

A good well-written three dimensional character requires a lot of work. You need to really show them through their ups and their downs. You have to flesh out their strengths and weaknesses. You have ...
7
votes
3answers
194 views

Can a main character leave the story early?

I'm considering to have my Main Character die before "finishing" his arc, but have other characters carry on the plot to its conclusion, let's say to fulfill his visions. In a way, the MC finishes ...
28
votes
13answers
8k views

Writing in a Christian voice

I'm Jewish. My middle-grade fantasy novel is very Jewish. Most of my characters are either Jews or converts/future converts or people with at least one Jewish grandparent. But some are not. My ...
7
votes
6answers
120 views

How far I can write about a protagonist with a different ethnicity of me?

I am planning to write a book about a life of a person. However, the protagonist is a black person. The main plot is not about ethnicity things, but where the plot happens I have to talk about some ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use deus ex machina safely?

One of my main character's traits is that she has some superstitious beliefs. That trait is not essential to the MC, but everyone in the era of my story is. I'm contemplating a plot point near the end ...
6
votes
4answers
958 views

How to answer questions about my characters?

I'm reading KM Weiland's Creating Character Arcs. In it, she lists: Questions to Ask About the Thing the Character Wants and the Thing the Character Needs How is the Lie holding your ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

How to describe my character using they/them so the reader doesn't know their gender until their pronouns show up later?

I'm experimenting with writing nonbinary or generally gender-ambiguous characters in my writing. The most recent example of this is in an urban fantasy story I'm currently working on in my spare time, ...
10
votes
7answers
377 views

What points should a “Character Interview” method for character building hit?

What should a character interview contain to be successful where the goals are: characters with strong voice who are established with a distinct 'personhood' (?) and are generally interesting to ...
27
votes
13answers
6k views

How to write a chaotic neutral protagonist and prevent my readers from thinking they are evil?

I've come across a problem with one of the main characters in my book. The "heroine" of my story starts out as an apathetic self-absorbed hacker, who seeks adrenaline thrills to find meaning in her ...
8
votes
8answers
374 views

Including disabled characters without “inspiration porn”

We all have seen the headlines: "Touching Moment Where Autistic Boy is Asked to Prom", "Watch This Child With Downs Win Her Heat During a Swim Competition", etc., that are touching at first glance, ...
3
votes
3answers
216 views

Sympathy for a villain [duplicate]

I have a villain. The villain is the hero of their own story. The villain starts off as good, looking to overthrow a monstrous leader. They were once in the same shoes as the heroes. Part of the ...
6
votes
6answers
769 views

Casually inserting sexual orientation

EDIT: Many people who are attempting to answer this question are severely misinterpreting the circumstances and setting of the book, so here is some information about Eris that I thought I had ...
1
vote
3answers
125 views

How do you to turn an antagonist into a protagonist? [closed]

In a piece I am writing, I want to turn an antagonist into a protagonist. I know that numerous ways to accomplish this are somewhere out there, but none of the help with a smooth transformation. Is ...
4
votes
5answers
98 views

How can I write an annoying character without annoying the reader?

My story has a group of five refugees traveling across the kingdom. One of them is preachy and pretty much useless (unused to physical labor, trying to convert the heathens in the group). She's ...