Questions tagged [characters]

Questions that involve people in a work of fiction, including character development, motivations, design, points of view, and representation.

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2answers
43 views

How to have a character speak pidgin without inducing cringes?

The character Lee in Steinbeck's East of Eden is a Chinese-American who speaks in pidgin — until he explains to his boss, in very articulate English, that he does so for reasons of his own. In my Gold ...
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I wrote a story built around an object but now I want to keep a character and drop everything else, but how?

I wrote a story that I intended to be a one shot with three main characters, mainly to play around with a certain object within a world that suited it. When I was about where everyone was supposed to ...
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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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Is it all right to write a memoir like a novel?

I wanted to share my true story as if I were writing a fictional story. For example, the author Terry McMillan's novel called, "Disappearing Acts", wrote a fictional story shared with her ...
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1answer
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Will readers question my antagonist's choice of style?

I am a young author currently writing my fantasy series. It takes place in the present, but my antagonist is a thousand years old. She was born in 1050 AD. I did some research and found that time ...
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5answers
148 views

Can I use they/them pronouns in a medieval style fantasy novel?

I'm writing a book and I'd really love to include a person with they/them pronouns. However, the novel takes place in a sort of medieval style fantasy world, and I don't think anyone would have used ...
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4answers
140 views

Is it okay to use a lot of questions to show my characters' thoughts?

First off, I'm sure someone will direct me to this question, and I want to make it clear that my question is different. I find myself using a lot of questions in my writing to express my character's ...
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0answers
41 views

Going back in time [closed]

If i were to have a character go back in time, could there be a rule for having only one world exist? So if she goes back in time, the other world would be destroyed? Could that potentially happen, so ...
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3answers
92 views

Using minimal amount of dialogue to introduce two characters but still move the story along

I have always struggled with writing dialogue between my characters in my historical fiction novel. So, when it is possible to avoid dialogue, I avoid it. In the scenario I am writing, I have 2 ...
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2answers
60 views

Main Character Death

I have a main character out of 3 main characters in a Historical Fiction book. His name is Darius. I have planned for him to die in a POW camp during WW1, this will happen near the end of the middle/...
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2answers
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Developing Voice for a Third Person Narrator and Multiple Characters

I'm currently working on what I hope to be a near final draft of my first ever novel. Something I've struggled with through this writing process is developing a voice for my narrator as well as my ...
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5answers
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How to give your characters enough dialogue?

In my story, there are quite a lot of characters. It can be difficult for me to give them dialogue. For example, let's say that there are a five friends at a party. I would run into a habit of having ...
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In Alan Bennet's The History Boys Mrs Lintott says to Irwin 'If I was a better teacher..'. Why does she not say 'if I were a better teacher? [closed]

I don't understand why Mrs Lintott does not seem to be using the subjunctive
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3answers
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A good way to transition different character perspectives

In my story, there are three character perspectives that switch off every chapter. What is a good way to lead from one character perspective to the next? Should I overlap the chapters so one character ...
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1answer
101 views

How should my script refer to a character who's currently disguised as another character?

I've recently resumed writing a series of scripts for an anime I've been planning. One of the characters has the ability to shape-shift, and there are several scenes in which she initially appears ...
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4answers
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How can I get readers to like a character they’ve never met?

Okay, so in my story, a character goes missing, however you never actually meet them. How can I get readers to like them even though they’re never even introduced to them?
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Is it considered plagiarism to publish a novel that has characters of the same animal species? [duplicate]

I am currently working on the last draft of my children's novel. Recently, I found out that several of my animal characters are the same species from The One and Only Ivan, written by Katherine ...
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1answer
39 views

Is this beginning good for A STORY [closed]

David Gemstone dives his head in a bucket full of water. "Bang" he hears a sound outside. He pulls out his revolver and walks out of the bathroom. "Who is it?" he asked with a ...
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3answers
90 views

Your character has something wrong with them, they are supposed to be strong

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. In my story, my MC is strong, resilient, and always needs to look perfect on the outside. This is her biggest flaw, not telling the other characters about ...
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1answer
61 views

How would you torture one of your MC without having a permanent injury? [closed]

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. I have been thinking about this for a while. In my fourth book, one of my MC’s gets captured by the antagonist. Th MC that was captured is the closest ...
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2answers
50 views

How to switch between characters in a first person story?

I know you can switch between the 3rd and 1st and vice versa but how from one character to another both using the 1st person. I know chapter breaks would help but I only want to make a small story (1....
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1answer
61 views

How do I tastefully handle a female-to-male transforming character?

My character is a girl who is later revealed in my story to be under a curse that allows her to transform into an older man. She is sharing a body with a powerful male spirit who can take control and ...
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7answers
3k views

Is having major anxiety before writing a huge battle a thing?

I am a young author writing a fantasy series and I am at the halfway point in my first book. I am so excited and absolutely terrified to write at the same time. Is that a regular thing? The scene I am ...
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1answer
63 views

How many MCs should you have in your story?

I’m wondering how many main characters should be in a first person POV series. My idea of a good MC cast is this: First Person Narrator. Narrator’s love interest. Narrator’s best friend. Narrator’s ...
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8answers
5k views

What kind of writing would be considered offensive?

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. In my series, the main character has two different eye colors and looks down on herself because she thinks she is ugly. If people who also have two ...
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5answers
125 views

What pronoun to use for a sentient, self aware AI?

I have a sentient AI in a story. He sentience aspect is mostly an unexpected result and some characters in the story do not believe it. When they refer to the AI, should they use the "it" ...
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3answers
91 views

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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7answers
189 views

Is it okay to kill a main character?

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. I started this book with a light bulb idea late one night while reading Peter Pan. I didn’t know anything about writing, but I ADORE reading, so I pulled ...
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3answers
96 views

How to start an argument between characters

My problem here is that I have two main characters, who, in the future, will end up dating. I’m trying to create friction between them at the beginning of my series so that they gradually fall in love....
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4answers
262 views

This is a problem that doesn’t seem to have an answer [closed]

My bad guy is very very very complicated. My entire story exists because for thousands of years (no one knows why) regular people from everyday life have been showing up in a magical forest filled ...
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3answers
231 views

All my characters sound the same. How can I change this?

I am writing a fantasy series. I am a new writer. I am almost done with the first draft of the first book, I have about 400 pages. Everyone who has read my work, even complete strangers that I have ...
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2answers
127 views

protagonist knows things which the reader doesn't know/story starts in the middle. How do I tell them?

when I say "reader", in the context of my particular scenario, I actually mean the "player" as this story is for a videogame. I start the game off with the player/main character (...
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3answers
1k views

How best to describe multiple alien species in a short amount of time?

I am in the beginning stages of writing what might be a space opera. The story starts in a society that consists of three planets that all fall under one governmental domain. The problem I'm running ...
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8answers
2k views

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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7answers
240 views

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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2answers
289 views

How do I keep my character's gender a complete mystery?

At first my protagonist was going to be a female role, until I started having an inclination for male characters and the fact that I am a total BL (“boy’s love”, stories about male homosexual romance) ...
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8answers
5k views

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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7answers
4k views

Should my main character make a ginormous mistake?

I'm rereading my draft, and there is a part in the book where when the main character is helping others escape prison, she accidentally reveals herself to the prison guards who chase her down and kill ...
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4answers
3k views

What are some signs of a chosen one nebulous enough that they can be mistaken?

The setup: We have a fantasy world. A while back (like, 30-100 years; not really sure yet) a prophecy was given that basically outlined a chosen one. More specifically it outlines a reincarnate of a ...
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1answer
78 views

Should I add in POV's for characters if the plot wasn't designed around them?

I am writing a YA fantasy. There are three main characters, but the plot was entirely designed around Character #1 and his journey. Character #2 and Character #3 are with him for most of said plot. ...
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3answers
100 views

How to do a non-binary character?

I'm currently writing a novel in my spare time, though i like how its going the main character is a non-binary young adult, I try hard to make sure it doesn't sound off when people are using they/them ...
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2answers
124 views

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
82 views

My book has a similar characters as the book The One and Only Ivan. Will I get in trouble if I publish my book? [duplicate]

We have completely different plots, I have several characters that are similar but different to each other. The One and Only Ivan had a gorilla, elephant, and dog, while I have a chimpanzee, elephant, ...
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6answers
4k views

Can You Hide A Character's Name?

So I'm writing a screenplay and I'm not sure if I can hide my character's name. Do I have to say it in the screenplay but just mention that we don't get their name until later. I've heard I should ...
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1answer
54 views

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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5answers
249 views

How to make my evil genius, evil and likeable?

I am working on a story from an 'Igor'/lab assistants' point of view. They work for a modern day 'Evil scientist', Dr Levo. Igor has a good working relationship with Dr Levo. I want the audience to ...
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1answer
55 views

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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1answer
41 views

How do I know if I've introduced too many characters too quickly? [duplicate]

In my book, I start out by introducing the main character, her uncle, and her mother in one scene. The next scene involves her grandparents, and the next is about five more characters after that. The ...
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19answers
6k views

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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3answers
180 views

How to give out a character’s backstory without info-dumping?

In my story, I follow a group of characters traveling across a post-nuclear wasteland. I’ve written all the characters (there are 7 of them in the group) their own unique backstories and whatnot, and ...

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