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Questions tagged [character-development]

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

-3
votes
0answers
47 views

How do I write a knight of Cerebus [closed]

Like a replacement villain to be a better threat to the protagonist
34
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
141 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
317 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
87 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
111 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
183 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
167 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
192 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
805 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
108 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
237 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
156 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....
42
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
177 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
249 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
741 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
179 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
189 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
134 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
388 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
298 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
215 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
111 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
108 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
252 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
186 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
144 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
423 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
92 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
247 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
150 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
194 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
91 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
190 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
131 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-...
20
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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 ...
16
votes
7answers
4k 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
6answers
349 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, ...