Questions tagged [character-development]

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

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13
votes
12answers
5k views

Compelling story with the world as a villain

My main character is up against the world, or, rather, the world and reality are up against her. A good story is in some ways defined by its villain. 1984 personifies its villain by adding a ...
7
votes
3answers
872 views

How to portray a character who has mood swings?

The protagonist of my trilogy-in-progress suffers from a serve case of Borderline Personality Disorder. Among his symptoms are continually splitting, unstable self-image, chronic feelings of emptiness,...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What types of resources and primary sources are helpful for getting into historical character?

When you are developing characters for fiction, and particularly historical fiction, what kinds of resources do you find most helpful in establishing a distinctive voice? Two suggestions I've heard ...
1
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2answers
77 views

Where to find primary sources for getting into historical character? (voicing)

What sites, libraries, or other organizations have strong, easy-to-browse collections of letters, diaries, and other primary sources that are great for authors doing research for historical fiction ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I know when and if a character requires a backstory?

In my novel, at the point where the MC meets her would-be boyfriend, Rufus, I have added a small backstory about his job. Later on, the story is almost entirely focused on the MC and what happens to ...
4
votes
2answers
666 views

Is a fighting a fallen friend with the help of a redeemed villain story too much for one book

In a story I am about to write the best friend of the protagonist is a good, caring and benevolent person, lets call him John. The antagonist is not really a bad person but because of the ...
2
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4answers
332 views

Would this character be classified as an antivillain, antihero, or something else entirely?

From an analysis standpoint, I'm trying to determine what classification the antagonist and protagonist in my story would fall under in terms of the classic literary labels of "hero," "villain," "...
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns [closed]

Can a child who has been sexually harassed by clowns be said to have 'coulrophobia: the fear of clowns' because of the fear and trauma she is undergoing? I mean to ask if the word 'coulrophobia' can ...
33
votes
12answers
7k views

How to write a sincerely religious protagonist without preaching or affirming or judging their worldview?

I am writing a book in which one of my main characters is a devout Catholic. His struggles with reconciling his religion and his experiences in life are crucial to his character and I'd like to ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Writing Longer Flashbacks

In my story my MC has suffered a severe injury and has no recollection of who he was before it occurred. He knows what happened and where he was when it occurred as he was told by the people who found ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Character Arcs - What if the character doesn't overcome the big lie, flaws or wounds?

I've been reading a lot of books about plot and character arcs. Most structures—and I believe this is generally good and true—require that the character come back from their journeys changed, usually ...
2
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0answers
46 views

What would be an interesting good deed for a character [closed]

In my fictional story, I want my MC to discover that her father did something nice in the past, that he took the blame for something he hadn't done just to help someone. Should be something that ...
-1
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6answers
1k views

How do I write a compelling villain-all-along twist?

I have in mind a character who is the protagonist's trusted ally throughout the story, but it is revealed at the end that he was the primary antagonist for most of it. This kind of thing has, of ...
7
votes
3answers
241 views

Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: how to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs? In my case I have ...
4
votes
3answers
222 views

From reactive to proactive; When should the protagonist change tack?

In my exploration of story structure, I have encountered some conflicting advice. In some instances, it has been suggested that the midpoint of a story represents the moment that the protagonist ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Book on (character) voice

Any book recommendations that teach you how to make sure each character sounds different in dialogue and is recognizable even without dialogue tags? Any book tips to learn more about character ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

Writing an ace/aro character?

In a fantasy series that I’ve been working on for some time now, there is a character that I’ve always kind of seen as not having sexual or romantic attraction. Originally, I did have a love interest ...
4
votes
5answers
249 views

What are the ramifications of a character sharing the same name as a famous and established character?

A character in my fantasy novel is called Beowulf. I named him such at a time I was unaware that this character existed in mythology, and was at least a little established. I didn't think much of it ...
4
votes
5answers
885 views

Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The ...
32
votes
10answers
8k views

How do I tell the reader that my character is autistic in Fantasy?

I am a woman with aspergers and writing an autistic character has always been close to my heart. Fiera Allas, a fantasy powerhouse with immense power and sword skills has always struck me as autistic (...
18
votes
6answers
6k 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
62 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
4k 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
321 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 ...
56
votes
13answers
11k 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
663 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
214 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
654 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?
7
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
4k 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?...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
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
votes
7answers
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 "...
3
votes
4answers
423 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
194 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
186 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
103 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
52 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
309 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 ...
9
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
339 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
224 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 ...
12
votes
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
5k 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
308 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
976 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
369 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
206 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
4k 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?? ...

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