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Questions tagged [character-development]

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

0
votes
7answers
114 views

Naming my characters

I'm writing a fantasy novel. The story takes place in England (1900's) No matter how much I research I'm unable to move forward in naming my characters. For example, When we look at all the characters ...
26
votes
13answers
6k views

Painting ritualistic murder in a “good-guy” light?

My good guys murder people. They slowly carve runes onto them to help defeat the bad guys. Sure they try to use "society's worst" people for the rituals, but realistically that doesn't always happen. ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How to Write a Colossal Cast of Characters

I'm planning a book series called The Weasel Sagas. Things have been going great up until now, where I've realized I've hit a bit of a problem: I've come up with backstories for so many different ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

How should sentient computer viruses act like? [closed]

OK; I'm obsessed with Toonami and their event Trapped in Hyperspace features the computer virus antagonist Swayzak, who I base almost all my computer virus characters on. Swayzak behaves like a one-...
-1
votes
4answers
130 views

How to balance male protagonist sensitivity to women without risk turning him into wuss

My MC is an assassin by trade and has a military background - sniper, Special Ops, etc. He was raised partly by his sister after their parents died in a car accident. He normally listens to her as she ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Effectively conveying an unreliable narrator

I have been working on a post-apocalyptic novel for about a year. My female narrator/protagonist, named Eris, was isolated for almost all of her life until meeting a rogue group of survivors and ...
4
votes
3answers
169 views

How to add depth to primary female character that contrasts well with primary male characters

I am attempting to write a relatively complex SciFi military novel following 3 primary characters. A male and female protagonist, and a male antagonist. So far none of those characters are aware of ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

How to build a character from an invented professional title?

Wendalyne is not a boring character; she is living the dream. Her dream, that is. More of a game than a dream, actually. The Morphophonemic Wheedlometrist lives for the experience of her craft......
1
vote
5answers
120 views

How to balance a character‘s duty versus his conscience

I have a character, a secondary antagonist who is following his sense of duty and pursuing a former asset. Said asset is injured, tired and cornered, seriously considering making a stand and going ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to create a memorable line?

I recently re-watched the Overwatch animated short "Honor and Glory". You can tell the writers were proud of the line "Live with Honor, Die with Glory", as the characters say it a fair few times for ...
2
votes
4answers
384 views

How to create a likable and sympathetic character, even if they are a pervert?

I want to add a perverted character to my story (don't ask why), a bit like Master Roshi from Dragon Ball or Minoru Mineta from My Hero Academia. However, I want to make them more sympathetic and give ...
-2
votes
2answers
159 views

What can I do to make character who hates their own ancestry relatable?

Character who hates their ancestry In short a character who, in their universe hates the ethnic group in which they belong. It does not matter whether they are a minority or majority in their given ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations? [duplicate]

I apologize if I am not in the right community but I figured this would be the best place to ask. I am looking for a place or a group where I can have my story read by others, so they can offer me ...
2
votes
4answers
123 views

How can a main character in a visual novel attract people of different personalities besides having a single trait each of them is attracted to?

Ok, so I currently have a visual novel (For those who do not know, it's a video game that's almost all story. The character may have a few choices in the matter, but most of it is about watching the ...
13
votes
8answers
7k views

Choosing between two people in a romance?

So, my dilemma is as follows. I have a romance project with the MC trying to choose between two women who he cares for very much. Each has broken his heart, but are willing to make amends and provided ...
0
votes
5answers
225 views

How to make a cool unmanly character [closed]

How to make a cool character who is really unmanly? The guy is bad at leadership, lacks endurance and strength while also being kind of a coward and having quite feminine facial features.
14
votes
4answers
8k views

Does this scene fail the Bechdel test?

My novel has approximately a dozen women in it, but they don’t tend to talk to each other. Most of them are separated geographically or philosophically and sitting down for a chat does not seem ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

How to avoid basing an autistic character too much upon myself?

One of the characters in my current piece is autistic. I'm on the spectrum myself, so I have some idea of what this is like, but I'm starting to think that I might be basing her a bit too much on ...
1
vote
4answers
126 views

How to have a character make a drastic character change in a short amount of time (i.e. the first quarter of the book)? [closed]

I have a main character who starts off as a jerk, but quickly becomes kinder as the story. I plan to have him change drastically in a few chapters. But how do I do that without making it look too ...
10
votes
4answers
606 views

What is the key to creating a independent character, female and male?

In my story, there is a girl and a boy who are trying to remain strong and independent. They are opposites of each other, so I'm not trying to make it so they can get together. They are also on ...
5
votes
2answers
55 views

Writing a cancer survivor

It is very important that my protagonist is mute. A lot of this character's motivations are informed by - though not entirely focused on - him having suffered laryngeal cancer and recovered due to a ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

When should the protagonist have a self-revelation?

So far, I've been learning rules and guidelines for plotting a good story from John Truby's excellent "The Anatomy of Story". Truby structures plot using 22 steps (a summary here). Among them, the ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

How do I make a repetitive element in a play interesting?

I am writing a playscript these days which includes various characters that are frequently related throughout the story. They all hold special orbs/keys that help the main protagonist progress further ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How to describe a character who is sick from trauma? [closed]

I would just like symptoms and/or adjectives about a character when they might suddenly get sick because of a traumatic experience. I just don't know how to describe the character and this is a ...
4
votes
6answers
280 views

Early investment in a character who “learns better”

I'm looking for ways to build early reader investment in an unlikable character who "learns better," but not until fairly late in the book. In particular, I'm writing a first-person middle-grade ...
35
votes
10answers
10k views

How to write female characters with agency?

I'm attempting to write a novel, an historical fiction with a small fantasy component (time travel through a portal). The travelers (main characters) are a young couple from the late 23rd Century who ...
1
vote
3answers
160 views

Averting Protagonist-Centred Morality

Protagonist-Centred Morality is when a fictional work is eager to point out when an antagonist does something immoral or distasteful but fails to acknowledge when a protagonist does the same or ...
8
votes
7answers
365 views

How can show that my cold hearted character is coping with grief?

I have a little contradiction in my story that may well be fatal. In my high sci-fi setting, one of my main characters is an android. Let's call him Bob. Bob is efficient, cold and straight-to-the-...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How to make a character work for an idea?

One of the main rules for developing a good storyline is to make sure that the characters work for their achievements. Perhaps before they can slay the dragon and rescue the princess the knight has ...
7
votes
1answer
93 views

How To Beef Up The Middle

I feel that in any book I read or write, the most common problem I encounter is a drag in the middle of the book. What are some suggestions of how to stay on target and intrigue my reader in the ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

How to write a convincing character with a opinion that differs from the author's?

So I wrote a short text recently in which the character has a very strong political opinion (anti-LGBTQ), which in addition is totally different to my own opinion. Now, I wanted to make the character ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Interviewing a person for a character

So I'm building a character who works in a particular field of science and I found an e-mail for a scientist on the internet and emailed him. I described how I'm writing a sci-fi story and gave him ...
5
votes
4answers
129 views

How do I design characters for an open-ended series?

There is plenty of information on how to draft characters for a single story, or characters that follow an important arc throughout a (small) number of stories. Are there any techniques for designing ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I differentiate between the “voices” of my characters in a multi-character POV?

I'm currently writing a novel with 3-4 character POVs in it - two male, two female. Each have different upbringings, different cultural backgrounds, different professions, different motivators and ...
1
vote
4answers
196 views

Establishing a social circle for a promiscuous character [closed]

I am developing a college-age female character and think that there may be a contradiction. This is an important secondary character, a good-natured girl, who is unfortunately quite promiscuous. This ...
8
votes
3answers
246 views

How to give characters a unique voice

When writing dialogue all the characters sound the same. I'm not sure I even know what giving a character a voice means, but my dialogue sucks so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
6
votes
5answers
279 views

I kinda want to completely annihilate the hero - what would speak against it?

The hero in my story succeeds in destroying the villain, but not without paying a hefty prize. Not only will he die, he will stop existing and can't be brought back, at all. It's like he never existed ...
12
votes
5answers
829 views

Invoking Deliberate Values Dissonance

Deliberate Values Dissonance is when the morals of a character or culture in-story (whether historical or fictional) that modern people don't agree with are presented in-universe. Not because the ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

What sorts of characters does a superhero team need?

I know there are a lot of variance here, but are there any personalities/dynamics that a superhero team needs in order to work? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
4
votes
6answers
247 views

I'm looking for advice on character development

I'm currently working on a team based story with a lot of characters and am looking for ways to really make their personalities stand out from one another. When I'm writing out their character ...
8
votes
7answers
162 views

What should I do if I can't properly formulate the personality of one of my characters in my novel?

In my novel, my protagonist joins a team with four other characters to go on a quest. Each character in the team is supposed to contribute to the journey in someway and all are mentioned in a prophecy....
43
votes
10answers
15k views

'The Chosen One' paradox

In many books novels or other forms of fictional writing, the reader is introduced to a so called 'chosen one'. This character or being is of higher power or in general, of different nature than other ...
1
vote
5answers
187 views

How can I make a compelling character unlikable?

I know what goes in to making an unlikable character compelling and engaging but I'm not sure I know how to make them unlikable in the first place. In particular how does one show that a main ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Characterisation: What lines can an antihero cross while retaining reader sympathy?

Now, to clarify ahead of time; I'm quite aware that compelling doesn't necessary equal sympathetic and vice versa. That being said, here is the dilemma. There's a character that I intend to write who ...
3
votes
6answers
264 views

Characterisation: How to make it evident that a character's flawed perspective is intentional?

I'm writing a novel which has alternating point of views; odd chapters are from an angsty, neglected twelve/thirteen-year-old girl who's struggling with belongingness, puberty, and parental confusion/...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How alien can my aliens be if I want them to demonstrate how alien a human character is?

Using non-humans to show human failings is a mainstay of Science Fiction but is there a limit to how alien a viewpoint can be and still be used to show that a human character is devoid of an aspect, ...
8
votes
5answers
754 views

Does dialogue need to be accurate to the setting?

I am currently writing a story that is set in pre-WWI USA/America. I do not mind conducting research about the locations and the time. I do want to understand what experiences my characters will have ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

Character motivations facing death?

Would it be boring/unrealistic/silly/cliché if most characters only had this main motivation for most of a story: saving humanity/their country/their familly/themselves. The setting is medieval ...
0
votes
4answers
185 views

How would I be mean to my character? [closed]

My book is about a boy who wants to run away from home, and while writing a plan to run away from home he discovers all the reasons that he should stay, his best friend, his lover, and he discovers ...
1
vote
3answers
244 views

How can I defeat a 'force of nature villain' without killing him? [closed]

In my story, I have found myself in somewhat of a pickle: Although the hero is more than powerful enough to defeat a villain (which is your typical 'Dark Lord’) I don't think my protagonist is ready ...