Tag Archive - characters

Scene Structure and Character Arc

Novels are about characters—characters who undergo significant change. Or, at least the protagonist should. A novel in which the protagonist doesn’t learn, grow, or change is a stagnant novel.

We write novels to take readers on a journey. Usually that is some kind of transformational journey. Readers want to go through the struggles and challenges the character faces and witness this transformation.

What’s a Character Arc Really About?

What am I talking about? Does a character have to have some huge revelation at the climax? Does he need to change his life? Transformation doesn’t have to be huge, and the scope and type of transformation can be influenced by genre. However, even with genres that focus predominately on action—dynamic plot developments—it can be said that those types of books will be better stories if they include some character transformation. Continue Reading…

The Secret to Crafting Genuine Characters for Your Novel

Think about what makes you interested or drawn to certain people. What qualities of theirs pull you in? Is it a sense of humor? Some interesting hobby or skill? Engaging style of talking or fascinating facial expressions or gestures?

Every character in your novel should have something about him that makes him interesting. It takes some work to create original, fresh, unpredictable characters, but it’s worthwhile to do. If you don’t want to spend an evening at a party among boring people, how can you expect your readers to be willing to spend ten to twenty hours of their life “hanging out” with your boring characters? We owe it to our readers to take the time to give them a unique cast of characters. Continue Reading…

Add a Bit of Romance to Your Novel

There are three basic secondary character role types in novels, and we’ve looked at the first two: the nemesis or antagonist and the ally or reflection character. You may not have one or both types in your novel, but if you can find places for them, it’s likely (with most plots and genres) that your novel will be better for it.

Novels are like slices of real life, and just as we have people in our lives who act as friends or foes, our protagonist should have similar people in her life. What I’ve been emphasizing while exploring these character types is the need to avoid slipping into stereotype. This is a big problem in may stories, whether movies or novels. The ally or nemesis is so predictable and cookie-cutter, we can almost predict what they are going to say and do at every turn. Continue Reading…

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