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

22
votes
8answers
4k 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
128 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
5answers
194 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
719 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
169 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
162 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
113 views

MC’s emotional underpinning and grounding come from elder sister - her death would change him. Should she die? [closed]

MC is an assassin who was raised with and by his sister after the death of their parents. They were adopted by an uncle, who did his best though he was overwhelmed by the task so the two kids raised ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

When can I kill my character? [closed]

When is it acceptable to kill a character? (and if possible, when is it most appropriate?) BTW, I'm not talking just about a protagonist; I'm talking about any of my characters, whether they're MCs ...
8
votes
4answers
291 views

How can I make my anti-heroic protagonist more likable?

A while ago, I asked if there any possible way for my series to avoid causing Darkness Induced Audience Apathy. A well thought-out response stated that unless I give my readers a reason to care about ...
6
votes
7answers
261 views

Archetype or Stereotype?

After feedback on character design for my visual novel, my grizzled Noir Detective is drifting into an Old Jazz Musician. There's a reason I post the artwork: what has gone unmentioned in this ...
5
votes
3answers
202 views

Is there a story structure for a non-traditional hero (an extreme introvert)?

I'm trying to write a story of transformation, in which an extremely introverted and non-confrontational person goes through a traumatic experience, and in the finale takes a stand in defense of ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

How do relationships build the main character or plot

I read that it’s approved of to have the protagonist to have deep relationships which I mean as friend-related bonds between people - because it makes the character stand out I’m asking this based on ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

What's the best way to implement a character arc? [closed]

WARNING: MULTIPLE TV TROPES LINKS In my three-part series, The Ragnarǫk Cycle I plan having my protagonist and deuteragonist to undergo a character arc. The protagonist, Joseph Norton to put it ...
8
votes
7answers
234 views

Is it important to describe every character of the storyline?

Note: I am not sure of which site this question belongs to: Writing SE or Literature SE. If this question is unfit for this site, I will happily migrate it there. So I am writing about the ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is writing big facts about a character's background good when first introducing them?

I hope this question is not mainly opinion based, I'm really just looking for a writer's handbook/source/acclaimed author saying this is either good, okay or bad. I think it might not be so good, ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

What can a fight scene prove about characters?

My story begins with a woman minding her own business and is forced to fight for her life; against a grotesque (but unseen) creature. The creature is too strong for her, she isn’t strong enough to ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

How can I really drive home a character not being able to hold it together in the wake of repeated trauma?

A character in my story is supposed to be falling apart, for many reasons: He's 16 and is killing people, in a gladiatorial setting, of a similar age. He already died (possibly a few times), but he ...
9
votes
3answers
412 views

How not to give up hope on Scrappy

We all know the spiel: We have an insufferable jerk who is a jerk/annoyance for 95% of his "screen time". In the remaining 5%, he sacrifices himself to save everyone else. The fans dance around a ...
5
votes
2answers
87 views

Too Many Goals?

Not unsimilar to myself, my protagonist potentially has too many goals. He's isn't a likeable character (which is how I intended him) so to keep reader interest, I would like them to become invested ...
9
votes
6answers
234 views

Describing an important emotional turmoil in the character's life I've never been through

I have this young character who grows up to be very strong and powerful but while he was young he was still discovering how strong he was. This incident happened to a friend he's protective of. When ...
6
votes
3answers
145 views

Can I assume readers will root for my protagonist in a man vs. beast story?

I am writing a short Sci-Fi story centered entirely on the man vs. beast narrative where the protagonist attempts to escape an unstoppable, bloodthirsty creature for roughly 15 pages. From the first ...
6
votes
5answers
178 views

Writing a Likable Character Who is Mentally Unsound

In an earlier question I mentioned writing the first arc of my story involving two characters partaking in a journey, with one of them wounded and not fully cognizant. This wounded character is an ...
2
votes
3answers
81 views

How far I should describe an alien invader character that has similar appearance to human?

I start to write a sci-fi story where the alien invaders will have slightly similar look and anatomy as human. I mean they are still imaginative character but I wonder of how can I develop those ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

Writing a Good Travel Narrative

I'm currently struggling to write the first portion of my science fiction story that involves two characters traveling, and I was wondering if you guys had any writing resources to recommend. My goal ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

Writing a character who is an expert in something that I can't know

I'm writing a story where the main character comes back from the dead. The character is fully lucid, knowledgeable and articulate about what has happened. I want to depict the character as an expert, ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Creative Non-Fiction - Writing without Plot, Story, Characters or Ending

I've just started reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and it strikes me, when reading about his obsession with Arsenal that I too have an obsession - with words. I would like to write a creative non-...
19
votes
11answers
4k views

Do readers not like a book if it's too dark and the characters almost never win?

I started a book and although I wanted it to be dark, will the readers find it too dark if the characters almost never win? Or are a lot of readers into that? In my book the two main characters' whole ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Arousing Emotion in Readers

Last Christmas my sister bought me a tome called The Book of Human Emotions (by Tiffany Watt Smith). I just started reading it and it got me thinking about how a writer might arouse emotion in a ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Disposable Characters

I've never seen or read Game of Thrones but I hear that the author is in the habit of killing characters off quite frequently. I have no idea what these particular characters in the series are like (...
8
votes
5answers
227 views

How do you write a story about a team?

There just isn't information about this on the internet (at least that I could find), so I'm here. A few specific questions: how many team members should there be? Should they all be main characters, ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Positive Transformation in the Arc of a Story

I'm writing a novel about an obsessive character who is bothering the people around him but just will not or cannot accept that a change must come. When is the most effective time (or if not - the ...
12
votes
10answers
4k views

Thoroughly Despicable Characters

I'm midway through a Masters in Creative Writing. My tutor recently told me (something like): each character deserves a chance to be liked by the reader. I didn't want people to like the particular ...
16
votes
8answers
3k views

Characters that take on a life of their own

There are definite advantages to writing comprehensive character maps, but one downside that I've found is that when a character is fully fleshed out, she/he tries to take on a life of her/his own and ...
22
votes
11answers
5k views

How to make the villain relatable/human without making the hero seem like a monster for killing him?

I have a story I'm writing which has a villain that, in order to make him more human/developed, I gave him a relatable, tragic and/or disturbing life story, gave him plenty of reasons to be who he is ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Antagonist lacks motivation - where do I find it?

My triller has an Antagonist who is classified as a sociopath and narcissist. He becomes infatuated with my MC who is an Ex-Army sergeant making a living in close protection services. He sees that ...
9
votes
6answers
764 views

How to write a Complete Monster?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with TV Tropes lingo, a Complete Monster is the worst kind of villain imaginable: one that is evil to the core and has little to no redeeming traits whatsoever. ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Is there a name for a narrative that involves parallel exposition of the characters' backstories?

One of the hallmark features of the television show Lost was the way in which each character's backstory was rendered. The narrative started out in present day and depicted characters making certain ...
6
votes
5answers
639 views

Hate to love, love to hate

I was reviewing my first draft and realized: I need a better antagonist. I have a flat, unspecified, weak organization with a stereotypically evil guy who are absolutely easy to defeat. I need an ...
35
votes
16answers
7k views

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

I've been toying around with the idea of writing a novel. The story revolves around two characters, one male and one female, and the perspective will shift between them. One of the central ideas of ...
7
votes
4answers
171 views

Why is character lifetime proportional to character development so often?

Hollywood movies are a good example of this, but also many books feature the rule. When the plot revolves around life and death situations, the first to die are the characters with least development. ...
23
votes
11answers
9k views

How to write a PG13 Succubus character?

I am currently writing a character that represents Lust and is a demonic entity... but to tone it down for a YA audience. I thought of trying to make them "Love-based" instead, but I always envision ...
8
votes
4answers
287 views

Is it okay to write a story where the protagonist is a Terrorist?

I am writing a side story called, The Afterglow of Jovian, which mainly takes place sometime during the final stages of the main story. Here's a brief gist of the main story to give some context, The ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the signs of accidental self insertion?

I am currently writing a novel where the main character will be far more powerful than most of the people in the world and I am worried that I will end up losing sight of what I am writing and start ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

How to balance between dialogue & character building and action scenes?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a carefully built (science-)fictional world. The protagonist is also a fictional creature. Obviously, the reader does not know about the world or the creature'...
4
votes
3answers
100 views

Likeable characters with deplorable professions?

I'm planning out an idea for a short story. In the story, slavery didn't abruptly end but instead continued to modern day and beyond. The structure of the story will be similar to The Last Question by ...
4
votes
3answers
128 views

Is it possible for “weakness” to be a “virtue” in context?

I'm working on a teen romance. The event is the high school play, the "Sound of Music," in which there are two main contestants for the role of Liesl. They are designated "A" and "B," because those ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Do I have to show my characters making up after an argument, or can it be implied when we see them on good terms again?

Is it okay to have two characters who had an argument to patch things up offscreen, or do readers explicitly need to see how they made up? None of the two characters in question are the protagonist, ...