12 votes

How do I make a possibly offensive stereotype less so?

As an Asian (southeast Asian + East Asian), I have seen many Asians depicted as smarter than other people, because of the impression that we can all do math. And it's always math that we are good at, ...
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  • 805
9 votes

What is the purpose of static characters?

Yes, there is a purpose to "static" characters; in plays and movies we call them walk-ons or extras. Static characters are not statues; they are just people that, for the story, do not ...
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  • 91k
8 votes

How do you describe/insert an "uncommon" feature?

I think it is useful to distinguish two different cases: the feature is uncommon in our world, but common in the world of the story (think of fantasy novels). In this case, I would explain it in a ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of static characters?

In most cases, changing only the main character will suffice, if not even make the story better. The reason for this is that you need the other characters to provide a context for your main character ...
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  • 4,693
6 votes

Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

I think one answer to your question is found in comic books. Would there have been a Lex Luthor without superman? Would the molemen have attacked if it weren't for the existence of the Fantastic ...
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  • 7,505
4 votes
Accepted

How to make a serious character interesting or likeable?

The same way you make any other character interesting and likable. Flesh him out and make him feel like a real person. Understand his motivations and goals, and let the reader inside his head (...
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  • 1,740
4 votes
Accepted

How to make a "perfect op" character not so op

The key is to humanize them (in a general sense rather than a specific species!) - and by that I mean humans have flaws, troubles and weaknesses that are relatable to the reader. They don't have to be ...
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  • 6,497
3 votes

Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

Let me introduce you to academia You want an IRL example of a bunch of weirdos and oddballs all thrown together in one place? Academia is the perfect example of this. I work in a field that has tons ...
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  • 4,327
3 votes

How can I write a young adult character as very excited without sounding like a child?

There is some overlap, but excited adults do not beg or excessively thank somebody, and adults are generally not as emotionally expressive as children. When adults are excited, they are in a good mood,...
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  • 91k
3 votes

Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

If it's supposed to be dumb luck, it may come across as contrived, but you have a little leeway even there, because of course stories are generally tales of unusual, not commonplace things. It helps ...
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  • 5,228
3 votes

How to make a serious character interesting or likeable?

Stories borrow heavily from morality roles; we have a hero that is acting pretty selflessly, and a villain that is acting pretty selfishly. In Die Hard, Bruce Willis could at any time walk away, but ...
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  • 91k
2 votes

How can I steer myself away from using pronouns too often as I write in 3rd person?

Pronouns Aren't the Problem I see two potential issues here: repetitive sentence structure, and focus on choreography. Repetitive Sentence Structure She [did a thing] [connecting word] [another thing]...
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2 votes

How can I steer myself away from using pronouns too often as I write in 3rd person?

I worried about this recently, so decided to do some analysis on some ebooks I owned by exporting sections into word and writing some VBA code to analyse the sentence starter words. Pronouns and ...
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  • 323
2 votes

On a tough decision, how would a character choose?

Whatever Serves the Story: You are the writer, and you know what you want the story to do. Does it follow the kid, grandpa, or the friend? How do you want your MC to feel, what do you want them to ...
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  • 12.6k
2 votes

Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

This is less common in the West, but it's quite common in Japanese works. Typically, the main protagonist is fairly ordinary, allowing them to act as a surrogate for the audience, while the supporting ...
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  • 9,126
1 vote

What is the purpose of static characters?

Role-Playing Games In Role-Playing Game (RPG) storytelling, both tabletop and electronic, there exists a critical distinction between Player Characters (PC's) and Non-Player Characters (NPC's). The PC'...
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1 vote

Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

I don't think it is unusual, think of it as seeking Synergy. Synergy is when a team (even of two) can accomplish more together than the sum of what they can accomplish alone. In everyday life, people ...
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  • 91k
1 vote

How to make a serious character interesting or likeable?

Give them a character arc, development, impact of plot and depth. Characters are often likeable if handled correctly. Since your mc is a paladin with a serious nature, explain why they are serious; ...
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  • 805
1 vote

How do I get my characters to reconvene after having been separated?

I don't think 'how' is the right question to ask. 'The Internet' removes the problem of distance from communicating. If your groups know they need to come together and know each other, then they talk ...
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  • 7,505
1 vote
Accepted

How do you describe/insert an "uncommon" feature?

@manuel-norman already covered the question of how to introduce such a character. If you want to keep referring to the character after this introduction, and they're not given a name or role (e.g. &...
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  • 2,905
1 vote
Accepted

On a tough decision, how would a character choose?

For your character, you have to consider the impacts of each decision, and his personality. If he doesn't really care about other people, and only cares about his own convenience, then he might lie, ...
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  • 91k
1 vote

How do I make a possibly offensive stereotype less so?

Lean in: Rather than shying away from the stereotype, lean in and make a point of recognizing it and discussing it. In some ways, this is breaking the third wall, but it can be something Chelsea or ...
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  • 12.6k
1 vote

How to write believable characters of professions I'm not familiar with?

In Ian McKewan's Atonement, one of his characters is a nurse in WW2 England. He used the details from an autobiography of a nurse in WW2 England, which I felt added richness and believability to the ...
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