Category Archives: Building Characters

Your Influence Character is the Heart of Your Story

What is an Influence Character?  It is the one who has an opposite philosophy, morality, or personal code to that of the Main Character.  Over the course of a story, the Influence Character continually pressures the Main Character’s core beliefs, … Continue reading

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Characters: Cogs in the Machine?

From a structural standpoint, characters are just cogs in the machine.  They have a job to do in the story as a protagonist, antagonist or any one of the functional roles that must be filled for the story to make … Continue reading

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Writing Con Men, Shady Businessmen, and Seedy Politicians

Characters, as with real people such as con men, shady businessmen, and seedy politicians, will often use statistics to paint a false, yet plausible, picture. For example, one such character might state that 12% of all high-school dropouts were beaten … Continue reading

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Creating Characters from Plot

Introduction If you already have a story idea, it is a simple matter to create a whole cast of characters that will grow out of your plot. In this lesson we’re going to lay out a method of developing characters … Continue reading

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Creating Characters from Scratch

 Where Do Characters Come From? When we speak of characters from a structural standpoint, there are very specific guidelines that determine what is a character and what is not. But when we think of characters in every day life, they … Continue reading

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Fire Your Protagonist

Many authors start with a Protagonist and then build a cast of characters around him or her. But as a story develops, it may turn out that one of the other characters becomes more suited for that role. Sticking with … Continue reading

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Creating Characters: The Villain

A villain is the dramatic antithesis of a hero, and therefore has the following four attributes: He is the Antagonist He is the Influence Character He is second in prominence to the Central Character He is a Bad Guy By … Continue reading

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Creating Characters: “My Hero!”

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the hero’s journey.” Much has been written about the steps in this journey and the nature of the hero himself. What is usually assumed is that the “hero” is an elemental character who possesses certain … Continue reading

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Character Development Tricks!

As trite as it might seem, ask yourself “What would a story be without characters?” The answer can help you get a grip on exactly what characters really do in a story, and therefore how to build them effectively. Although … Continue reading

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“Things” as Characters

 A writer asks: “My favorite creative writing book is ‘Setting’ by Jack Bickham. Use of setting as primary with characters, plot, theme, mood, etc derived from it and interacting with it seems of particular value in science fiction. Where would … Continue reading

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