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Here's my thing about your series of questions that always bothers me: I don't care about these people. I'm bi. I'm in a homosexual relationship. I'm religious. I like superhero stories. I check a lot of boxes you're asking about and I couldn't give a rat's ass about these people. You're not telling me about them or why I should care. You're telling ...


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Pick one thing that all the characters have in common, and I'd make it subtle. In dialogue, Loki has a favorite word, perhaps a curse, that no other character in the book uses. You might also give him a grammatical quirk, that no other character uses, and if any imitate him, he punishes them for mocking him. Find something you can use fairly often, the ...


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You question prompts a wider question: the expected base knowledge of your target audience. "Loki" is a mischievous Norse god who who has the ability to shape-shift. I'm not in your target demographic but made the link on reading his name. If you continue to hint you'll be insulting the intelligence of readers like me. You run in to other issues. The Norse ...


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So you have Sir Nathaniel Charles III. A nobleman, obviously. Is he from a famous family? Or some minor, not well known nobility? Did he grow up in a castle? Or did his family lose their estates and he grew up in poverty? Did others respect him for his nobility, despise him for it, or not care about it at all? Does he live in medieval times, in modern times ...


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I'm a conflict and character writer. For me, the two naturally go together. If I wanted to start with the conflict, I would start by asking what terrible threat is hanging over Sir Nathaniel? It doesn't have to be something that threatens him specifically. It could be a threat to someone who he cares about or who he feels he should protect. Then you ...


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You must make the rules of your world clear As your antagonist is disguising his identity through the use of these magic masks the first step should be showing the reader that such magic is possible. Once a reader knows that it is possible for such masterful illusions to be created they will try to link less obvious clues, such as speech patterns (if a ...


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Here are some ideas: 1) Think of what nation he is a part of. Is it a real country or is it fictional? I created a country named Swissland, so feel free to use that. 2) Who are his friends? Who are his enemies? 3) What are some of his talents? 4) Does he have a girlfriend/wife? I hope this helps you with your story. Good luck!


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I'm not giving you examples because you cannot ask "what to write" here. So these are guidelines on writing, given a character. I usually begin with a character. For me, a good character needs to be very good at something, and rather poor at something else. Think on that. Does he call himself Nathaniel, or Nate? What do his friends and associates call him? ...


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Why this is difficult: dramatic conventions If a description of something is unique and also can't be observed incidentally by the reader, as with a character's highly unusual physical features, you can bet the reader will flag it as a notable detail. As soon as they encounter it again they will draw a connection, and they will quickly map all of the other ...


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The protagonist doesn't necessarily need to be the most powerful character or the character with the most impact on the world around them. The protagonist should be the character who is most interesting. How do you find out who's the most interesting character? Possible signs are: They are the one the audience can identify with the most. They are the one ...


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Here's an example from television, which while not in print media, is nonetheless a story: On an old episode of Babylon 5, a fleet from really far away invades. The Babylon 5 crew must scramble fighters and fight them off, but that just becomes a backdrop for two maintenance men to run around and show us what THEIR working life is like. While clearly not ...


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Yes, I believe you will have to change your character's name. I'm not a lawyer, but I believe if the name is trademarked, you can't use it, and you probably can't use anything like it for such a similar character. The idea of combining these two species is not copyrighted; but a trademark is different than a copyright: A jury can decide anything similar ...


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Redemption is a powerful and uplifting theme. It connects with everybody because it shows that, even after bad choices and failures, we can still hope for a noble outcome. There are many, many path to redemption, but the ones which interests you are the "good" ones. The ones where a "bad" protagonist goes back on the "good" side with it's redemption. I'll ...


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I think it is not only fine but important to have such stories. Stories where the protagonist is the hero and saves the day can be fun because we all like to see the good guys winning and imagine ourselves as heroes, but it would be pretty boring if all books were like that. In real life, we are usually not the hero or the most important person around. We ...


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Not necessarily. Take for example The Phantom Of The Opera. The most important character is without doubt the phantom of the opera, but he is not the protagonist. The protagonists role in this particular story is merely to observe. If you look at japanese storytelling in anime and manga you will find many more examples of stories with the setting of the ...


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I think they have to more than balance the scales, in the reader's eyes. Anytime a soldier kills an enemy combatant, she may be depriving a parent of their child, a child of their father, a wife of her husband, a man that was in fact just doing his duty to his own country. Philosophically speaking, what makes that justifiable? The same goes for cops ...


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Additional Reading, not worth retyping fully here: What if neither the protagonist nor antagonist wins? I feel my protagonist is too "detached" from the main plot. What should I do? Protagonist - Character who is working towards one or many goals. They are pro-active. They do things. Main characters are not necessarily protagonists. ...


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It can work sometimes, especially if your main character is a pinball protagonist who is simply caught up in events happening around them or to them. For instance Arthur Dent is very clearly the main character of Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but for a large portion of the book series he instigates almost nothing and does almost nothing on his own. ...


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Indiana Jones was the obvious protagonist and main character in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But as to being "the most important character", if that quality is measured by contribution to the plot, it definitely wasn't Jones. The Indiana Jones character could have been trimmed back to a few scenes at the beginning (an expert providing background information), ...


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The protagonist is the person whose story you tell. The protagonist can be a witness to important events that he doesn't have a hand in, or she can be the sidekick to a hero, but the story must focus on how the protagonist experiences these events. The protagonist might not be the most important person from the perspective of a historian evaluating an ...


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IN GENERAL for the modern novel, the MC is the one with a problem to solve, the MC has to take the risks, and the MC has to solve the problem. One exception to this rule I can think of is Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes series, he is the "MC" that tells the story. Most analysts believe Doyle did this specifically to hide the thoughts and feelings of ...


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This is perfectly fine as long as your protagonist's character arc is satisfying and complete. If someone else is stealing the show at the end, there may be good reason for that, and lessons to learn for everybody. If your characters are part of one team (even a dysfunctional one), your task is even easier. The reader would be rooting for the team success, ...


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The real question is, at the end of the book is the reader going to wonder "But what about …?"? If the character wasn't especially interesting and didn't leave loose ends, then there is no need for a reappearance. But too often, that isn't the case. The film "Vertigo", suffers from this problem with the character Midge Wood, who simply disappears from the ...


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Your story has to make sense, the plot has to make sense. It has to seem like the characters are making realistic decisions for their situation, with their goals. What they say and do cannot come out of nowhere, or be left unexplained. How they do it cannot come out of nowhere, or be left unexplained. When your readers say "WTF, where did that come from?" ...


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The protagonist inspires an idea, a symbol. And ideas and symbols never die. Killing the protagonist is certainly something broadly criticized, but because of what to expect, not the death itself. It is what i say to people many times. You did not like the movie, alright. I will not convince you that you should like it. But think: What did you expect to ...


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Well, I would make my choices according to style and length. In Bullet to the Brain, it was a short story, and the reader had little time to become attached to the protagonist. Was his death meaningful? Only in the sense that it taught you not to be an asshat or that social ineptitude will get you plugged. While I don't know for sure, I am betting the author ...


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If you go into detail about how the characters' trauma effected their lives by comparison to how it wouldn't have effected them, that would be much better than giving the trauma a title. This is a story, not a synopsis. If you go into that kind of detail for the sake of the story as a whole, defining the condition would be putting into a social structure ...


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Laymen often confuse "trauma", being "traumatized", and "post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)". According to a WHO survey, about 70% of the world population experience traumatic events at least once in their lives. On average, a person experiences about 3 traumatic events in their lives. At the same time, only around 10 to 15% of these traumatized person ...


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Other answers get into this, but I'm going expand a little on my comments. Don't just describe symptoms, explain the reasons for the symptoms. Understanding that there's a problem is way different than understanding why the problem exists. You have the right idea of not trying to diagnose the MC for your readers. This goes into the writers maxim of "Show, ...


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The issue is how "trauma aware" you are to trauma as a writer rather than calling it out as PTSD or labelling it as "trauma" explicitly. The frustration resulting in the "call-out" is the anger at the lack of trauma awareness in writing. This unfortunately triggers the reader, especially if there is the denigration of the trauma experience and its impact ...


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Let the Reader Diagnose (But that means you need to give them symptoms) You don't need to tell the reader "Eris has PTSD." You do need to give them enough info to get there themselves. Harry doesn't need a diagnosis for you to intuitively understand why his heart is pounding out of his chest every time he sees someone wearing a cloak that looks like "You-...


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Interesting points. I tend to disagree that readers lose interest in antiheros. The main character in Dexter comes to mind (along with most teenagers I know, hehe). I think it’s not just a character’s striving for self improvement that hooks the audience, altho most people can relate to that concept, but equally compelling is to get into the mind of the ...


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You don't have to diagnose it as "PTSD" or whatever name WE use for it, but you can have a character call it out as a real thing: They are an expert, they have seen many soldiers with a similar collection of symptoms, perhaps as a comfort to the person suffering this (i.e. you are not alone, you are not imagining it, you are not weak or defective for ...


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In my opinion: you should let the condition speak for itself. I agree with Alexander when he says that people who hold authors' feet to the fire are overblowing things, as a lot of these people would probably feel safer about themselves if whatever condition they have could easily be tied to a character who was diagnosed with the same thing. If you want one ...


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Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is boring writing material if you're fascinated about it. I always had my doubts about subjects worth writing about and those not, but what finally quelled my fears was listening to Hamilton. Who, in their right mind, would have thought that a rap/hip-hop musical about America's first treasury secretary will go on to have the ...


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I don't think your diversity is a problem, however, from a writing perspective, I DO think that any special quality of a character should have some impact on the plot or the character. So my answer is that A story can be "too diverse" in the sense that the author is specifying Jack is gay, but Jack being gay doesn't seem to have any effect on Jack's ...


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My first impression when I read your question is that you are trying to hard. Are you trying to write an interesting story? Or are you trying to compile a catalog of every ethnic and sexual group you can think of? Just a few days ago I pointed out an advertisement to my wife -- I forget what the product was -- that depicted a mixed race couple using the ...


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If most of the book revolves around learning or training, this would be considered performance fiction. Most of the novels is this genre will have analogies you can play off of. According to the Story Grid genres, good examples of subgenres are: Sports Art Music Business One way to integrate a learning environment in writing would be to start each ...


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Welcome to the SE. What is the story? The gayest drag queen in the world would probably watch a story about the Vietnam War as long as it was done well. I'm certain there's at least one or two LGBTQ folks out there who enjoyed Good Morning Vietnam. Everyone was straight in that movie. You make your cast what it needs to be to support the story. Find ...


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The source of the intent. Did the character turn to actions or goals that the reader finds unsavoury as a REACTION to something? Redeemable, and often used as a plot device. Did the character do the same as an ACTION to further an intent that has always been there? Irredeemable, can at most be suppressed/tamed/foiled. Alternatively, if you want your story ...


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Short answer: The Writer Long answer: No character is beyond redemption in fiction, though some will be a much tougher sell to the audience than others, because some things are more easily forgiven. While many redemption arcs are set up early and a careful reader, especially one who knows about writing techniques or is a writer himself will spot the tell-...


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Do you mean unredeemable, or utterly loathsome characters with no redeeming traits? Because with gradual character development and reveal of hidden depth, even a character like Joffrey or the ones you listed can be redeemed in the audience's eyes, see a fanfic like Purple Days. The trick to making a character utterly loathsome - which I suspect may be ...


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Redemption requires something of the 'sinner': they must as the very least choose to seek redemption, and choose to commit to whatever that takes; I think that is true, whether you believe in redemption by the grace of some god or not. You have to want it enough, so to speak. I don't think one can determine a priori that any person is irredeemable, ...


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@CrisSunami is spot-on: don't introduce all your characters at once. Don't start with a scene where they are all present - start with a few characters, then bring in more. Having a great many unfamiliar characters all at once is extremely confusing to the reader: imagine walking into a room with 12 people you've never met before, and you're expected to ...


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You either write a biography, as accurate as you can, as respectfully as you can, or you write a clearly fictional story that is as different from its inspiration as you can make it. Do not try to do this half way. That way lies pain and law suits. From your question, it seemed that you want to write fiction. Then do just that. The best way is to get ...


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It's impossible to write anything about anyone at all without offending someone, potentially. Say you're writing something positive about a person, let's call him X. Now, X has a detractor named Y who seriously, seriously, dislikes X. She's likely to be offended by whatever you write about X that's not offensive to X himself. And maybe the reverse is also ...


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Out of universe Really, the only thing that makes a character irredeemable, is not wanting to be redeemed. Anyone who acknowledges their wrongdoing, and sincerely seek to make amends, can be redeemed. It may be a long, difficult path. There maybe people, both in and out of universe who don't believe, who don't forgive. If Umbridge accepted that she ...


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You can create a character that is a fraud, and seems to have inherent weaknesses, but once in a while they act out of character and against their supposed weakness, in some situation that is critical. The reader will suspect the weakness is not really a weakness, and thus the character is a fraud, but nobody in-universe (unless you want them to) notices ...


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In ordinary life, what makes a person "irredeemable" is a theological/philosophical question, to which people have many different and variant answers. But in fiction, what makes a character irredeemable is simply that the reader doesn't want to see them redeemed. The reader reaches a breaking point with the character, and is no longer interested in any ...


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