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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10 answers
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How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

I've noticed in many long-running stories that it's common to have a villain who's a genuine menace to the heroes become impossible to take seriously after they've gotten defeated or died so many ...
2 votes
4 answers
762 views

When writing a YA novel, how necessary is it to include LGBT characters?

I am attempting to write a YA novel, and I keep wondering if it is important these days to include at least one LGBT character. So far, no LGBT character has 'organically' come up in the story, and ...
-3 votes
1 answer
174 views

How do I portray therians in a way that's relatable and not weird?

I'm writing a story on therians, for therians themselves to enjoy and for people to understand them better, but it's turning out kind of weird. I was making this more for people to stop hating ...
0 votes
3 answers
163 views

How should I switch between different pronouns when writing a nonbinary/genderqueer character?

(For refrence, I'm trans, and have done my research on this stuff.) A character from a story I'm writing is nonbinary/genderqueer. Basically, they just don't care about gender. I really want to write ...
1 vote
4 answers
132 views

How to make sure the reader knows the MC is a different species (not human)?

How can I hint that the main character is a different species (still mostly human shape) without directly telling? I could mention specific traits, but I'm not exactly sure how to incorporate them ...
3 votes
3 answers
136 views

Can I write a story based in a world without humans?

I have this world I'm building that I want to write a story on, but there's absolutely nothing human in the world. It's entirely built around elemental creatures including the protagonist.
0 votes
2 answers
183 views

Is it copyright infringement if my character is pretty similar to another character?

I want to create a manga. The problem is that my characters are pretty similar to oshi no ko characters. For example, the main character has the star eyes like ai eyes, and her eyes are purple. ...
6 votes
7 answers
583 views

I'm looking for advice on character development

I'm currently working on a team based story with a lot of characters and am looking for ways to really make their personalities stand out from one another. When I'm writing out their character ...
2 votes
1 answer
564 views

Is this a a crazy enough reaction for someone who isn’t the most sane person, yet normal enough to be considered a human reaction? [closed]

In the beginning of my story, my character wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment. Although they’re scared for their safety, they were sure nothing bad had happened to them that night. At first they were ...
1 vote
2 answers
111 views

How do I turn my Imagined-Daydream-Fantasy-Book into an Actual Book

Problem I love writing and I love reading. I also love coming up with all sorts of books/films in my head so that if I'm bored in real life, I can just dive into my imaginary book/films to entertain ...
2 votes
3 answers
216 views

Tough female character softening

I'm writing a tough, capable young female character who is savvy and can survive well in an unfamiliar society. However, she has no patience for stupidity and is quick to shoot barbed remarks. I want ...
2 votes
3 answers
111 views

What's the best way to write a 2-person story, primarily involving interaction?

I am writing a short story that only has 2 characters, and is written in the third person. I am deciding between script-type writing: Character 1: "Wow! these are my words!" He smiles ...
43 votes
16 answers
13k 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 ...
5 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can I create good character names? [duplicate]

I find that a problem that I run into quite often is the fact that I can't create names that sound real, but also have a nice ring so that they fit the character. Does anyone have any suggestions on ...
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Using the stages of grief to fall in love

I would love to utilize the stages of grief in a way to show the progression of a character's resistance to fall in love. I have some ideas for each. What are some other ideas? I have a vigilante ...
5 votes
2 answers
442 views

How to write "The Breakdown Scene"? (cosmic horror)

I am currently writing a cosmic horror story, (without an eldritch abomination) and I am wondering how one would write the classic "You've seen too much and now your mind is breaking" scene ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to make human characters turned into monsters devolve and abandon their humanity?

TL;DR: How can I psychologically justify why relatively normal (i.e., non-sociopathic) human beings that have turned into monsters (like vampires or werewolves) devolve into feral beasts or vicious ...
14 votes
9 answers
5k views

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

I want to write a passage of text that makes the reader feel like the person writing it is deranged or otherwise not in the right state of mind. It seems relatively easy to write incoherent, ...
3 votes
3 answers
226 views

Novellas: How To Engage the Reader in a Character in Under 40,000 Words?

Perhaps one of the more difficult parts of writing is getting the reader invested in the characters. It's really easy to make your character somebody boring and not interesting to follow in novels. It'...
2 votes
4 answers
331 views

Is it necessary to describe a character's physical appearance in a novel

I am writing a novel and I realized that I did not describe any of my characters, like practically, no reader would be able to place or imagine the character which I feel is not right. That is why I ...
1 vote
2 answers
137 views

What's the best way to visually sort data about characters?

I have a couple of characters that I want to group together on multiple pages. Each could be about different information. Another example would be, with 1 page for each period of time. Year 1: Alive:...
0 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do I make my characters sound British?

This might sound silly, but I am trying to make one of my characters British and I have a hard time portraying that idea on paper. My novel is set in a fantasy land, nothing like this world and I am ...
1 vote
3 answers
421 views

How do I write a fight scene between two characters when one is strong but slow and the other is strong, tough, and fast?

I am writing a fight scene between two monsters. One is heavily armored but comparatively slower, whereas the other is a Lightning Bruiser: fast, tough, and powerful but compared to the first ...
0 votes
3 answers
69 views

Can I switch the POV of a main character? [duplicate]

So I'm momentarily writing a fictional story for a class I'm taking, and I've run into a problem. I have one main character, but there is a scene where that character passes out. Is it possible to ...
2 votes
2 answers
173 views

How would the "one good member" of an evil organization/culture see themselves?

I have a character that is the stereotypical "token good member of an evil organization". The organization is a brutal social darwinist one that sees nothing wrong with killing people and ...
2 votes
3 answers
58 views

Describing exclaimations from a group

My character, an old woman, has been knocked down, injured and can't get up. There is a crowd of people, spread across a park, who all witnessed the accident. From her view, at ground level, she is ...
1 vote
5 answers
125 views

Is there a smooth way to indicate that third person pronouns don't matter so much in my worldbuilding in English?

For context, I am nonbinary, and also East Asian. My language of fluency is English, but I know other languages and also have an anthropology degree. (Japanese, Korean, a tiny, tiny bit of Mandarin, ...
2 votes
4 answers
190 views

Is a self-introduction of the main character speaking to the reader appropriate to start a novel?

I'm authoring a horror/corruption/murder novel. The book starts off with the Main Character telling the reader about who he is and his physical appearance (now in his 60s), how he got to be ...
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Should I change my character's name if it's a variation of mine?

I'm trying to name a character, and I found one that fits him perfectly. It makes sense for the setting, it supports the theme and his character arc, and it supports his parents' characters (mainly ...
5 votes
3 answers
991 views

How do you know if your story is too complicated or just complicated enough?

I've been working on my current story for almost a year. It's a great story but at times it seems really complicated. How complicated is too complicated in a story?
0 votes
2 answers
98 views

How can I make my character show his feelings more without being excessive?

I started writing a story sometime ago, and I wrote all I could think of. I did a good job as per my imagination served me. I couldn't complete the story because I planned to go the magic and fantasy ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do you refer to someone in a formal essay?

I'm writing a formal essay on a book. The book is about a real person, but they are referred to by their first name throughout the entire book. When writing the essay, do I stay consistent with the ...
4 votes
3 answers
208 views

Looking to include hijabi character in children's book about magic, would that go against muslim customs?

A friend and I have written and illustrated a children's story about a group of kid witches that includes a girl with a hijab. I have read that magic and witchcraft are taboo in Muslim faith, should ...
10 votes
10 answers
4k views

How do you come up with superpowers that haven't been overused? [closed]

It's hard to be really original during a time where you literally have TV shows and movies every few months, but some clichés seem to be recurring. For example, in a lot of superhero movies, you have: ...
4 votes
4 answers
123 views

How to find or create a mantra or guiding quote for a character?

I'm in the process of developing a character for a story right now, and I want to come up with some sort of mantra or repeatable quote the character can repeat to themselves over the course of the ...
1 vote
4 answers
166 views

About a way to express a posture

I need to describe a person in the sitting posture shown in the image. Is there a name or expression to describe this posture other than "sitting in foetal position"? I appreciate any ...
32 votes
11 answers
5k views

Writing diversity

I am writing a military sci-fi novel about an international military force facing aliens. My cast is very diverse: the MC is Yemenite-Israeli, his love interest is German, his room-mates are from ...
-1 votes
2 answers
154 views

How can I find good words to describe emotions or states of mind?

For example, if I struggle with finding good words to describe being confused and in two minds, what techniques can I use to find figures of speech or adjectives?
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

When should I use the setting to express the motif, and when should I use characters, plot events to do it?

I'm currently still at the early stage of writing, and I may be facing too much freedom than what is helpful. One of the results of that is: I'm very uncertain of when should I use the story setting ...
1 vote
2 answers
889 views

Is it okay if I use a historical figure's name for a work of fiction completely unrelated to history?

I was planning at some point to write a mystery fiction unrelated to history. I was inspired by writers who used literary figures as a name for their characters, yet the plot was completely unrelated ...
3 votes
11 answers
5k views

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

I'm writing a science fantasy, and I'm afraid that the protagonist has too many superpowers. Here's the concept: The protagonist is Berta Newton, an isekai counterpart of Issac Newton. She is the ...
1 vote
3 answers
645 views

To facepalm or not to facepalm

How would you describe a facepalm in a more formal sense? For example, he rubbed his head with his hand. Or, he rubbed his temples. Basically, my character here is really annoyed at the stupidity of ...
27 votes
5 answers
8k views

How can I hint that my character isn't real?

How can I make a side character's tangibility open to interpretations so the audience is unsure if she's even real? My short story is about identity. My main character is being pressured by a friend ...
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

What examples are there of a major character being written out *without* dying?

Mainly talking about stories that span multiple instalments, like TV shows with multiple seasons or a novel series with multiple books. In my experience, when a main character exits a series ...
1 vote
2 answers
139 views

How can I smoothly transition from my main characters to my secondary characters?

I am seeking examples of clean ways to transition from my main characters to my secondary characters. When I review what I have written, it is clunky and unclear that the story is now focusing on the ...
-5 votes
5 answers
7k views

How to write an actually psychopath character

I'm constantly running into problems, this time it's wannabe Pennywise again. So, one of my characters is supposed to be emotionless but still, pretends to have them. Problem is that I don't know ...
1 vote
5 answers
265 views

How do I write a superintelligent character?

A very similar question has been asked here. Writing a Super Intelligent AI I ask this question for multiple reasons. I was writing a sci-fi work and I decided it'd make sense that the characters have ...
3 votes
4 answers
439 views

How to write about characters and places you aren't personally familiar with?

What do I need to do, as an Indian writer, if I want to make British or Americans the main characters in my book, and make the whole story revolve around them in any other country? In general, is it ...
0 votes
1 answer
174 views

Mako Mori test: independent character arc in a plot?

at least one female character and that this character has an independent plot arc and that the character or her arc does not simply exist to support a male character's plot arc source Given: by far ...
2 votes
3 answers
116 views

How to describe a character accepting congratulation in a modest, self-deprecating fashion

I am trying to describe how my protagonist reacts to congratulations from a friend about a genuinely significant career achievement. My protagonist is modest and self-deprecating by nature, and I am ...

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