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Questions tagged [characters]

Real questions about imaginary people.

3
votes
1answer
20 views

Protagonist's race is hidden - should I reveal it?

I'm currently on the fourth draft of a novel I'm writing, which features two protagonists. One of them, is, in my mind, black. I say, "in my mind" because at no point in the story do I ever explicitly ...
10
votes
1answer
528 views

How to name indistinguishable henchmen in a screenplay?

A large group of indistinguishable henchman feature throughout my screenplay. What is an acceptable naming method for them? Let's say I wanna call them 'Red shirts'. Can I ... A) Call them all RED ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Will a change in perspective “intimacy” confuse the reader?

[Not a native english speaker] I am currently writing a novel, told from the 3rd-person POV, with several characters being followed in different scenes. Will the following confuse the readers? ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

Abandoning the Ordinary World

As I understand it, when considering the Three-Act Structure, the first half of Act One prior to the Inciting Incident is used to show the reader the 'Ordinary World'. In the story I am working on, I ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Characters based on Real People [duplicate]

I am interested in writing a story about real life events, but changing it in such a way to make it a fiction novel. Question is, do I need permission from someone to make a character based on them, ...
3
votes
4answers
135 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

Creating character imagery without describing their physical looks

This is more for my own curiosity than anything else but I was wondering if when reading about a character with no specified gender and no description of their looks, does the choice of words used to ...
6
votes
3answers
232 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
3answers
128 views

Fleshing out the character motivation from the plot

I decided to give a try to the snowflake method. The idea is that you gradually expand the story from a blurb into a full draft. This question stems from the character-characterization step, but it ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

How can I make an eldritch abomination out of humanity? [closed]

The fanfic I'm writing is so that I may get into the swing of literature. A test story if you might like in the Mass Effect Universe. Please prepare for a long text because there's a lot of trivia ...
26
votes
11answers
7k views

How to prevent “they're falling in love” trope

I have two characters, the male being sort of a jerk, but lightening up later in the story, and the female is...very hateful. But a person who read the first chapter asked me if they were going to get ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How to keep a dark protagonist who wants to keep his humanity dark?

My MC is in a dark line of work. He is an assassin. He is also someone with lines he does not cross. He has been duped or coerced to do things he would not, but still holds to some standards. I want ...
4
votes
3answers
100 views

How do I differentiate characters in first person POV when the narrator doesn't know them yet?

Okay, so two women are in a bar and I'm telling the story from one of the women's POV. Two guys come in and the women are watching/listening to them from a distance. They don't know their names or ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Describing a person. What needs to be mentioned?

When describing the physical features of my more important characters, I often don't add much. I of course describe important features, especially if they will be relevant in the story. For example ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Crossing the line between justified force and brutality

A beta reader of sorts (cousin) mentioned he thought my MC2 rather brutal in her capture of MC1 - though justified. I have her dupe him into surrendering (believing himself outnumbered and outgunned)...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Will it be accepted, if there is no ''Main Character" stereotype?

There is a character in every story. Special One. It becomes the center of the story. i.e. the Main character. The author takes special care of them. Provides them wise thinking. Good luck. A charm. ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Stereotypical names

In every country, some names are particularly common: 'John' in the UK, 'Juan' in Spain, 'Ivan' in Russia. Those names are common almost to the point of being stereotypical (consider 'John Doe'). If ...
5
votes
3answers
113 views

Is it acceptable to use props I saw in a movie in my story?

I was watching a movie and, in multiple scenes, the characters were using a set of coffee cups that I haven't seen before. I realized my Main Character is the type of person who would have and use ...
8
votes
2answers
79 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: inhuman PoV

Following the previous question: Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data I'm writing a robot character with a particular PoV. In the previous question I wanted to talk about sensory data; here ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I write humor as character trait?

I have a character that likes to make humor, puns and jokes. Humor should work here as a character trait; something really peculiar to this particular char. He says a lot of puns because he find ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Does the reader need to like the PoV character?

I have the feeling this is already been asked, but I can't seem to find it. Close the question if it comes out as duplicate. There's an issue with novels with a first-person narrator, or a third ...
7
votes
4answers
170 views

How to balance the agendas of co protagonists that periodically conflict?

While not mutually exclusive, the goals of my co protagonists do conflict and I need to keep them balanced. MC1 works for the CIA and is being burned. He needs help from someone so he can find out if ...
3
votes
4answers
117 views

Creating or identifying secondary protagonists

First of all, this is my first time writing more than a short story, and I am quite new to writing in general, so pretty novice. I am currently in the process of outlining the story for a novel I am ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

How can one learn about the laws of hospitality in Latin America? [closed]

I have a situation where my MC - who has a dangerous reputation - was captured by an agent of Bolivian security. She takes him to her father in-law, who starts to torture him. He learns that much of ...
7
votes
6answers
489 views

Symbolism of 18 Journeyers

In my story, 12 year old Ruth has visions from another place and time which lead her to gather a group of kids for a quest. She is told there will be 18 kids, but she can only find 17 with the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Would it be believable to defy demographics in a story?

My story is set in the US. Would it be believable to the reader if I deviated from the norm that is also supported by demographic data? How many of the following deviations can I get away with? A ...
6
votes
3answers
218 views

Is this ununderstandable character part of the conflict?

By "ununderstandable" I mean that this character I'm thinking of isn't human. He's more of a devil sort of thing. Of course he still has his motivations, goals, etc, but he's more of a tool rather ...
9
votes
6answers
181 views

Does it really serve a main character to give them one driving want?

I often feel that we fall into a trap of believing that we must provide a driving goal for a main character at the outset. And yet, as I look at compelling fiction, main characters do not have the ...
6
votes
4answers
890 views

How to answer questions about my characters?

I'm reading KM Weiland's Creating Character Arcs. In it, she lists: Questions to Ask About the Thing the Character Wants and the Thing the Character Needs How is the Lie holding your ...
0
votes
3answers
185 views

How many stages would it take for a character to be convinced of x? [closed]

My MC - who has a dangerous reputation - is captured by a member of Bolivian Security, who decides to take him to her father in-law (who also has a dangerous reputation)to be questioned instead of ...
2
votes
5answers
136 views

What to call a nameless character in a 3rd person narrative?

How do I present a nameless character in a 3rd person narrative who has never known his parents? And has never had extended human interaction with anyone long enough to even be called “Boy” or “Child.”...
-2
votes
4answers
408 views

How does one describe somebody who is bi-racial? [closed]

And this question to ask how do you describe somebody who is black and got many great answers. Describing mixed races in this way would be too broad. How do I express some one as a black person? ...
15
votes
14answers
10k views

How do I say that someone is black?

Sorry if this is an ancient solved problem to ask in 2019, but I googled about this and Quora isn't really answering me. I searched for the words black and race and politically as key-words on this ...
29
votes
7answers
4k views

Help! My Character is too much for her story!

A while ago, I started writing a short story for a competition. It was supposed to be about four girls in a shared student apartment. The plan was to have everyone conflict with everyone until they ...
1
vote
5answers
154 views

Should we avoid having a protagonist of a different ethnicity than ours if we don't know anything about their culture?

Let's say I am thinking about making an Indian protagonist who lives in India when I've never lived there, don't know anyone who is Indian and don't know anything about Indian culture. Should I even ...
10
votes
7answers
353 views

What points should a “Character Interview” method for character building hit?

What should a character interview contain to be successful where the goals are: characters with strong voice who are established with a distinct 'personhood' (?) and are generally interesting to ...
27
votes
13answers
6k views

How to write a chaotic neutral protagonist and prevent my readers from thinking they are evil?

I've come across a problem with one of the main characters in my book. The "heroine" of my story starts out as an apathetic self-absorbed hacker, who seeks adrenaline thrills to find meaning in her ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Naming Characters after Friends/Family

I drafted a book two years ago that I'm now polishing to publish. When I drafted it, for speed's sake, I named one of my primary characters after an old school friend who I'm still in contact with on ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

How to portray a character with gender dysphoria?

Context In my fantasy novel-in-progress, one of the two main characters has a close friend he's known since childhood. Both of them are greatly developed by their interactions with each other ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

When can characters be reused? [duplicate]

Can one legally include a reference to, or an appearance of, a character from an existing work of fiction? How much of that character can be used? What makes this permitted or forbidden under US law? ...
10
votes
5answers
817 views

What should the omniscient narrator call a character?

Let there be a character. Let the character's name be, for example, Alexander. Now, Alexander's parents call him 'Sasha'. His friends call him 'Xander'. His girlfriend calls him 'Alex'. In formal ...
6
votes
6answers
716 views

Casually inserting sexual orientation

EDIT: Many people who are attempting to answer this question are severely misinterpreting the circumstances and setting of the book, so here is some information about Eris that I thought I had ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Borrowing Characters

Would it be a violation of copyright and/or plagiarism to “borrow” a character from another novel? For example, I have a short story and want to include as a side character Ender (of Ender’s Game). I ...
2
votes
4answers
113 views

How to choose ideal number of main characters?

As I already mentioned in my previous question, I'm writing a novel with personages both that I created and some already created by others (well, I wrote that when I was younger and now I just ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

How would we write a misogynistic character without offending people?

In a short story I am writing, I have this misogynistic character who keeps saying misogynistic stuff, and I thought it would be a bad idea to give him dialogue lines. I was thinking that, because I ...
6
votes
6answers
236 views

how can I showcase the internal struggles between a man and his demons?

The character in this story is a human-demon hybrid. He is good natured on a normal day, but because of the demon genes and blood coursing through him, as struggled with certain urges his entire life. ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Every character has a name - does this lead to too many named characters?

My tendency when writing is to give every character a name. Even the most minor ones. It says something about a nobleman when he knows every guard and stablehand by name, and it's something I want. So ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Writing a character who is going through a civilizing process without overdoing it?

In my planned novel the main character is essentially from a less technologically advanced society and is learning about the "civilized world" beyond their village. He has above average intelligence, ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

How do I introduce this character?

I am writing a story these days and I want to introduce a character who is similar to a king. This character is introduced with heavy announcements by his minions who scream out words of admiration ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What are the best techniques to show a character panicking as it is seen by the POV character?

So the problem I am having is that the protagonist of the novel I am writing is having a confrontation with another character, who starts panicking. Instead of saying "panic dripped from his face", I ...