Questions tagged [character-development]

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

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5answers
77 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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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4answers
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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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2answers
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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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7answers
845 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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6answers
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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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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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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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2answers
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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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2answers
212 views

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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4answers
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How can I create a near-future artifical general intelligence that doesn't violate contemporary ideas in computer science?

In my novel, twenty years from now, a physicist/computer scientist has created a machine version of himself, an artificial general intelligence that integrates the physicist's personality, memory and ...
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How to write a character that doesn’t talk much?

Any tips on how to write a likable character that doesn’t talk much? He eventually starts talking more, but that’s later in the story... How can I make the character's development more natural? (He is ...
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1answer
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What could be the turning point for the protagonist? [closed]

What is/are life changing event(s) (positive or negative) that leads a young solitary physicist to enquire into spirituality? [Later protagonist turns into modern monk and figures out way to ...
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2answers
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I developed this character in the second book instead of the first

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. In my series, I have five main characters. Camryn, Dylan, Willow, Jason, and Sarah. In the first book the main character of the six and the first person ...
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1answer
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Exploring one's sexual orientation. The process of it

I generally write about LGBTQ characters who have already out and proud. Now I'm planning on writing a character that just found out that she's lesbian. At the start of the story she finds out but ...
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2answers
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Should I delete a character?

I have two characters in mind, both share many traits. One of them is a side character (E) and one is a supporting (Z), but I'm wondering if I should mesh them together into Z. E only appears in two ...
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Is one book long enough to make my character fall in love?

I am new to writing and this is my first story. I want to make my story believable and was wondering if one book is long enough to make my character fall head-over-heels for someone. She has known the ...
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Influence of conflicting parental motives

I'm writing a story where a charater is the landlord to the protagonist. The situation develops into a shared house. The problem here is that the parents of said landlord have contradicting motives - ...
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3answers
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What qualifies for an antagonist?

I'm a young author writing a realism-fantasy novel. My "antagonist" is this man who sends the protagonist away against his daughter's wishes(this is the climax of the story). He does it sort ...
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2answers
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Should multiple chapters share the same page?

Now that my memoir is published, I notice how there are multiple chapters beginning sharing the same page that the previous chapter ended on. I don't like how it looks at all. Looking at other author'...
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Writing a good flashback

I am having the main protagonist find their imaginary friend that they had previously forgotten. How would I make some flashbacks without making the plot too confusing or sounding choppy and forced? ...
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How do characters push the ones they love away in a believable manner over the course of a novel?

(not sure if this question belongs here, let me know if there's a better stack exchange category for it and I will happily take it down) I'm currently working on a story that involves a main character ...
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Character development. Do I need major events for changes or can it be more gradual

I have this main character who is very academically gifted but has a bunch of problems. For example he is: Anti-social, paranoid, ignorant of the people around him, very violent, short tempered, and ...
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1answer
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Is using the layout of anothers published work in danger of plagiarisim if nothing else is the same?

I started writing a book that uses the ‘layout’ or ‘style’ of another very popular book. I started it as a joke, but then fell in love with the characters and the idea. There is nothing the same in my ...
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If I remove the capacity for one of the primary flaws, is it inevitable I end up with a boring character?

In this world, there are mortals (human beings) and divine beings (gods/goddess). The gods and goddess have personalities, limitations, and what is commonly called "human nature" (they don't ...
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Can there be too many obstacles in a character’s path?

My current WIP involves a deliberate miscarriage of justice. I started out with three main characters: J - a young girl who is effected by both the crime committed and the injustice delivered D - a ...
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Does the main character have to be likable?

I am often hearing / reading that the main character of your story should be likable or even if flawed should be something about them to get the reader behind them or to "root" for them, or ...
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2answers
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How do you write a flawed character without it seeming forced, or making it painful to read

This is more of a general question, but I am wondering what is the proper way to create character flaws, without it being too forced or annoying to read. For example, in my story one of the main ...
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1answer
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Do I need to develop layered characters to write a good story?

In one of the books I have on writing, the author says that in order to tell a good story, you need to create characters with three layers. I forget exactly what those are, but I just want to write a ...
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1answer
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When in the editing process should I edit characters and their arcs?

When in the self-editing stages should I edit my characters? I have researched a bit on this but I haven't found any time to do that. I have mostly found how to do that, rather than when to in the ...
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How can I handle a powerful mentor character without killing them off?

I'm writing a book series that involves people with various superpowers. One of these characters and is more or less the mentor of the protagonists. This character is the leader of the "good guy&...

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