Questions tagged [characters]

Real questions about imaginary people.

3
votes
3answers
29 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 (...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

What is the art of designing names?

If you read names from popular novels you feel like the names define characters. They fit perfectly to the personality of character. For an e.g. Harry Potter, Robert Langdon, Jason Bourne, etc. I ...
13
votes
6answers
2k 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 "...
6
votes
4answers
411 views

How to positively portray high and mighty characters?

What I mean by "high and mighty" (though I realise this term does not exactly paint anyone in a nice light) are characters who know their worth and know themselves to be better than numerous other ...
41
votes
11answers
7k views

Averting Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses

Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses is when writers portray female characters possessing traditional feminine qualities as being less desirable, competent and reliable instead of their tomboy foils. They ...
9
votes
3answers
176 views

How important is payoff?

I'm developing a story with the following basic plot: At the start, my main character's motivating question is "Where is my brother?" As the story progresses, other problems and motivations get in ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

In a stage play, how should the script refer to minor characters whose names are irrelevant?

Problem I'm writing a play that includes a number of minor characters who only exist for a scene or two. They are defined by their personality traits, not by their professions, and their names are ...
6
votes
3answers
996 views

Past vs. present tense when referring to a fictional character

What would you write when referring to a fictional character in a non-fiction work? e.g. Tom Sawyer is a boy, he has no parents, he goes on adventures or Tom Sawyer was a boy, he had no parents, he ...
51
votes
12answers
11k views

How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

I'm currently planning a "magical girl" story, and I thought of an interesting way to start it, rather than launching straight into the backstory. It opens with a woman in her mid-thirties, complete ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Is a lack of character descriptions a problem?

I have written a novel in which none of the characters are ever described. It started out by accident (3 chapters in when I realized). Question: Is this a good/unique approach or shot myself in ...
2
votes
4answers
73 views

How can I represent independent individuals as part of a hive mind?

The demigods of this world are avatars of the one true God known as Dea and built in the image of humanity. They are independent and have their own opinions from each other, but are connected by a ...
11
votes
7answers
263 views

Too eloquent characters

Here's a critique I've received more than once: "your character talks like a character from a book. He's too eloquent, nobody really talks like that, unless they grew up in a library." Now, to some ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How to write a vulnerable moment without it seeming cliche or mushy?

So, I have a kinda loudmouthed character who's always the first to fight and first to go on the offensive (This is a fantasy, so she fights a lot.) But, later in the story, she comes across someone ...
2
votes
3answers
123 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
8k views

How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

So, in a WW2-ish story featuring a co-ed military, I have a female soldier who is very kind and caring. I'm setting her up to be a mascot and somewhat of the postergirl. Trouble is, she dies further ...
3
votes
5answers
122 views

How to create a plot given theme and settings?

I often find myself coming up with seemingly compelling premises and world settings, but unable to come up with equally compelling character or plot. For example, I am currently thinking about a ...
6
votes
1answer
252 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k 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?...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

How to deceive the MC

My protagonist is finally meeting with the big boss of a mafia. At least, he thinks he is. The boss actually sends someone to pretend to be him. I'm writing from the protagonist's (limited) POV. If I ...
3
votes
4answers
249 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, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

So, my story doesn't have a romance subplot until way later in the series, but I think that there are elements of the romance very early on. A little background info: The story is set in a ...
4
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How important are good looking people in a novel/story?

I've read many books where the main protagonists are described as good looking people with Greek god looks, plenty of sex appeal, the perfect figure and all that. As a reader, how important would it ...
8
votes
1answer
83 views

Character Accents

When writing dialogue how should one tackle accents? Changing the spelling for certain words (V for W in German) is effective but may come off a little cheesy. Then again, not doing this might cause ...
2
votes
3answers
72 views

How to write the action of someone reading in a story? An example, please

I am rather a very amateur writer, who is trying to write a thriller/fiction novel for a class, and I find myself absolutely dumbfounded as to how to write into my story the action of a character ...
7
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
50
votes
17answers
8k views

How to creep the reader out with what seems like a normal person?

The person in question, though this is yet unknown, is not actually a person. Instead, they are some form of eldritch being of which we cannot comprehend. Though, they seem for all appearances and ...
4
votes
4answers
131 views

How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On ...
9
votes
5answers
226 views

How to subtly portray a secret relationship

I currently have a set of characters in which two of them have had (and still do have) history together, however I do not intend to drop the ball on the reader and write down their backstory because ...
36
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
910 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
105 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
182 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
57 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, ...
4
votes
4answers
177 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
148 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
265 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
162 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
107 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
106 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
118 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
117 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 ...