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Questions tagged [characters]

Real questions about imaginary people.

11
votes
5answers
537 views

How to make clear what a part-humanoid character looks like when they're quite common in their world?

How can I describe an unconventionally part-humanoid character, so the reader knows clearly what they look like, while in a world where these people are normal and it's not unusual at all for ...
2
votes
4answers
98 views

How to make a grieving father less vengeful and see reason?

I have a character who, maddened by the suicide of his son, chooses to destroy the company the young man worked for, holding them responsible. He is a successful businessman who told his two children ...
5
votes
6answers
161 views

How to write characters who hate when you don't understand it?

I hadn't thought about it before, but today I came across a writing prompt that involved hate. My mind kept running up against walls. It's not a skill I have ever worked at fostering. I can't think of ...
-1
votes
0answers
51 views

I need names suggestions for my main characters siblings [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy novel about a teenage girl that lives in a war camp and travels to a nearby kingdom to enter a tournament to prove herself to her father and the rest of the warriors at her camp. ...
20
votes
11answers
7k views

How to describe skin colour, if “white” is not the point of reference?

A character looks at another character, skin colour creates certain associations. A character looks at himself, and associations would be shaped by society, and by what is "normal" in that society. ...
5
votes
4answers
91 views

Describing paralyzing fear in the first person

I would appreciate some suggestions that would help me describe intense terrifying fear that my main character feels when the airplane he is on suddenly goes into a seemingly out of control dive that ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Can I reference something used in another medium, like names, play titles, or song titles?

I'm having a hard time finding information on this so let me explain the idea: I'm writing a story that takes place in a small town high school in 1986. And I want to give the characters all nicknames ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Dead children in pre-modern setting

The reality of pre-Industrial Revolution times was that about half the children born died before age 5. It would be a mistake to think that parents cared less - we have multiple written records ...
22
votes
11answers
9k views

Is it bad to have no gender variety?

The majority of stories, movies, shows, comics, and other media I've read or seen have a pretty even split between men and women, and that's fine, I don't have a problem with it. But if I want to ...
10
votes
5answers
174 views

How do I respectfully write black characters in a 1930s Arizona setting?

I'm writing a cartoon script aimed at a children/young-adult audience (similar to the audience of Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall). It deals with the daughter of a Bonnie-and-...
20
votes
11answers
7k views

Keeping my politics out of my writing

So I'm in the very early stages of plot development on a new story. It focuses on a (nonbinary, hence the they/them pronouns) witch named Kem who recently discovered their powers and met some ...
3
votes
4answers
242 views

Writing the dialogues of characters who are much smarter than you

A.I. should have perfect English, but because they are mainly servants, they should be easily understood. Cyborgs, on the other hand, not necessarily, because they're augmented humans, but some ...
2
votes
7answers
192 views

Creating and keeping track of characters

I admit to finding this an insurmountable task. My novel has dozens of characters. My first problem wasn't keeping track of them, but creating them. Modern Day: My 20th century characters were ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

How to incorporate a silent protagonist into a chatty world?

You see this a lot in video games: a silent protagonist who can somehow communicate with the rest of the world with seemingly no or few words. Usually, it's hand-waved away by simply assuming from the ...
1
vote
4answers
161 views

Is using an online name generator a good idea?

When I'm stumped for a planet name or an organization name or something, I usually search on Google for a free name generator. But are the names in random generators copyrighted? If I used a ...
39
votes
14answers
11k views

Do hard to pronounce names break immersion?

I have a character in my book named Jiolluav (with the correct accent, Zholl-you-of or /ʒōl-'yoo-äv/), and I've written my entire "novel" (it's a work in progress) using this name. When I asked a ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Fictional cultures and languages existing in the same area? [closed]

So I've got this fantasy planet X, where humanoid peoples Y and Z are at war on an island nation about the size of England, and they've been at war with each other for hundreds of years. They are two ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Characters jumping out of their stories

I just read an article online and thought "this is great, I should forward the link to Phoebe." Phoebe is one of my characters. I've already had characters tell me how they would speak or dress, ...
2
votes
3answers
57 views

Could I have some characters reveal more internal monologue than others?

For context, I am writing a graphic novel. I always used to imagine I would have some characters (mainly protagonists) reveal their internal monologue while others (mainly the antagonists) don't. They ...
21
votes
16answers
8k views

Not having any white MC's?

(For reference, I am not white. I've asked another question about race here). So I'm pretty far into writing my dystopian novel and I was reading over what I had. Something that helps me when I ...
29
votes
5answers
3k views

Avoiding repetition when there are two unidentified individuals

The tall figure was overwhelmingly tall. It stood in the corner of the room. The skinny figure right beside him sat on a chair. It wasn't moving at all. The tall figure moved to the opposite side ...
2
votes
3answers
172 views

Writing couples with age difference [closed]

Basically, all I want to know is how I can get my readers to root for a pairing where the difference in ages is about 15 years. I don't want them to spend the entirety of my novel pondering over the '...
-1
votes
2answers
77 views

Protagonist Goal and achieving it [closed]

My MC is a famous singer/songwriter who is bad at writing lyrics. Her goal is to write commercially successful, deep, serious songs. How do I design the character arc in relation to this goal? Also, ...
5
votes
4answers
147 views

Can my characters interact with my narrator? (and vice versa)

I know that this idea is not totally 'revolutionary' as this type of narration has been used in Breakfast of champions, for example. But, Unlike Vonnegut, I want the 'Narrator talks to the characters ...
-2
votes
4answers
127 views

What meta-properties should a character have in general? [closed]

What are the properties a generic main character from a character-driven/psychological novel should have? E.g. relations, motives, personality, knowledge.
19
votes
8answers
3k views

First quarter friends

As I've mentioned before, I'm working on a military sci-fi novel. Here's the trouble with the military: you don't spend all of your service, start to finish, with the same people. Not all the people ...
2
votes
3answers
213 views

Unfair Motivation for a Judge to Dislike an Accused [closed]

I have a scene where a character is applying to be released from prison pending trial. I want an arbitrary / unfair reason for the judge to dislike him. It has to be something that is not justified to ...
21
votes
13answers
6k views

How to present an alien culture with different morals, without it coming across as savage?

For a fiction story of mine (probably fantasy, if I had to categorize it), I've set it in a world that is in some ways similar to Earth, and in other ways very dissimilar from Earth. In place of ...
1
vote
4answers
218 views

How do I make my character be a part of something without it seeming forced?

I'm writing a Star Wars fanfiction because I wanted to practice my writing on something I love, and I decided to make a character named Alexander Ray Rullero. He's not the main character, as in he is ...
58
votes
14answers
24k views

Is the “hero guy saves girl” trope misogynistic?

(Question about my hacker (hacking??) novel.) Just an FYI, I am a woman. Edward is a cyber spy and works with an organization named Vox Populi to curate and release all data online, especially the ...
0
votes
3answers
204 views

How can I make my character sound Scottish?

Yes, you read the title correctly. It sounds sorta ridiculous, but I'm wondering how I can make my Scottish character in a story of mine sound more Scottish. He's a comedian who can rarely take ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

MC doesn't know something that's obvious to the reader

(Another post-apocalyptic novel question! I'm just full of them.) My MC, Eris, has the power to manipulate life force. As a child, she accidentally killed her family and other survivors who ...
9
votes
2answers
278 views

How and when should I introduce my main character's superpowers?

This story includes a select group of individuals who contain superpowers and the main character is obviously one of those few. I don't want to throw it out there straight away and am trying to hint ...
5
votes
6answers
248 views

Do authors often base their characters off of themselves?

(I previously asked a related question about projecting myself onto my characters.) I've read just few books where authors use their own life experience as the basis for the characters and plot (most ...
3
votes
8answers
3k views

Could the cast of my book be more unique?

Edit: After reading the question I've asked again and the answers I've gotten, I feel I should say that the descriptions of the characters here are definitely the bare basic. There is a full word doc ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Character is an expert on something I'm not

My OC Edward, who I thought of quite a while ago but haven't done anything with, is a professional cyber spy and hacker. He's employed by an organization (in the future, of course) that is basically ...
29
votes
15answers
16k views

Is no religion a bad thing?

(I believe I've asked about a half dozen questions pertaining to this post-apocalyptic novel, including my "is this story too diverse" question. This sort of pertains to that.) Last night, I thought ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it bad to project myself into my story?

After reading that a Mary-Sue often is a projection of the author, I realized most of my stories are. Is it a bad thing? My MC aren't Mary-sues (at least I hope so), they're the opposite of perfect ...
46
votes
12answers
9k views

Convincing argument about something I don't agree with

In my dystopian novel, Day, the son of a fascist dictator, is trying to convince Analise, a young genetic mutant oppressed under said fascist dictator, that the dictatorship's laws allowing censorship ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How best to avoid the appearance of stereotype?

I am seriously considering adding a character based on a man I know. This man is very irksome, rather pretentious and refers to himself in the third person. He is flamboyant, opinionated and one ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Crafting an organic female platonic relationship [closed]

There has been a story in me for quite a while. It is of two girls, set in a feudal/medieval era. They met as children. One is a antisocial bookworm, highly opinionated with a quiet steely composure. ...
27
votes
11answers
15k views

Is my story “too diverse”?

(Edit: I feel like I should clarify, these are the only LGBT characters in the story, and the only characters whose sexualities are even touched on, and they are part of a larger group of people, ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Realistically incorporating trans/nonbinary characters

In most books I read and movies I watch, there are rarely any LGBT characters, and the LGBT representation I do see is almost exclusively gay men, with a smaller amount of lesbians and a handful of ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it a bad idea to have a character that has an “imaginary friend”?

In a story I'm working on, I'm adding a side character to travel with the two main characters because I realized I didn't have very much planned for actually showing who the main characters are and ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

Character is onscreen for three seconds

I have a character Joe who leads the task force hunting my MC. His reputation is known to the MC and he is well aware of how effective he is. Joe is also a good friend of another character, Fred, and ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

In my novel, the protagonist is divorced and moves from London to another city in Britain. The setting is 2013. The protagonist is depressed and stressed out; in real life, such a person would see a ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Not projecting myself onto my characters

I have struggled with mental illness for my entire life. Writing has been an extremely helpful and important mode of self-expression for me, since I was little. But recently, I feel like my writing ...
68
votes
12answers
18k views

A critic made a comment that my female character sounds like she was written by a man

I'm a man. Working on my sci-fi novel. It's meant to be a light-hearted heist caper. My main character is a woman. She's a strong and sassy character based on the women in my life, and the story ...
16
votes
8answers
5k views

The problem of the throwaway boyfriend

In the first 10% of my novel, my MC has a boyfriend. MC is accepted into the Space Corps (or he's summoned to fight Troy - the particulars don't really matter), boyfriend is sure he'll wait the ...
3
votes
5answers
235 views

How best to have a conversation a character does not overhear?

I have a scenario where my main character, who has considerable training and situational awareness has been captured. He has faith that his people will rescue him when the time is right. He learns ...