How well do you know your character?
Spending a lot of time creating characters is the daily job of so many of us. We think about names, where they live, who they love, whether or not they have a phobia or a personality disorder. We decide to place our characters in conflict with an antagonist in order to write a novel. We plan an inciting moment, and plot our scenes, but how much do we really know about the psychological motivations of our important characters?
Characters are, of course, one of the essential elements of fiction. Sometimes an engaging character will stay with a reader long after they have forgotten the plot of a story. And even the most engaging plot can appear lifeless if it does not involve characters whom the reader cares about. Of course, the subject of fictional characters is tied closely to both plot and point of view, so there may be some overlap.
We will also try to address character questions that are related to Dramatic is a story theory, which has some special observations to help writers, such as the distinction between main characters and protagonists, the function of impact characters, and how to use archetypal characters. Some character questions may have already been addressed in articles on the novel writing page. So if this is the first time you have visited this site, you might start by looking there for answers. You may want to take a look at some of the other character questions that have been asked and answered below. Or you can search this site for relevant articles by entering your search term into this box.
Here are 15 questions you should be able to answer about these characters in your novel.
1. What would mentally destroy your character?
2. How does your character feel about his mother and father?
3. When did your character feel completely loved and accepted?
4. What would have to happen to make your character speak out, or, defend a stranger, in public?
5. What does he lie about?
6. Does your character need friends?
7. What physical thing does your character fear most?
8. If your character could choose to spend his last day alive with one person (dead or alive), who would he choose?
9. What is his defining strength?
10. Is he able to work for someone else?
11. Does your character have a positive or negative body image?
12. Who, or what, would your character die for?
13. Does your character have a plan for tomorrow? Next week? Next year?
14. Is your character resilient enough to change?
15. What would your character think if he could see you now?
Bonus: A character’s personality is made up of patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make him unique. These psychological personality traits remain fairly consistent throughout life. What Positive and Negative Traits would your character have?
If you want to make your characters memorable, it’s a good idea to get to know them better.
How do you create your supporting, minor or secondary characters? Let me know in the comments below!