Writing a novel is hard work. Everyone who has written a novel or tried to write one (or several) would most likely agree with that.
Much of the struggle today—besides from the writer’s fear of failure or judgment or feeling like a fraud or the like—is based in overcomplicating things. The fictional world the story is set in has to be rich in details, the characters complex and fully fleshed out, the scenes meticulously described, the characters’ actions explained so the reader gets what the writer wants to say or show, and so on.
That’s enough to get anyone overwhelmed.
There is, however, a way to make the process of writing a story a lot easier (at least in the beginning so you have a place to start because starting is the first step to actually getting somewhere). This solution I’m talking about is to simply break everything down into the most basic building blocks of a novel.
What is it that a novel truly needs? A world, a cast of characters, and a story/plot. This is the foundation of every novel and it is the place to start (you can figure out everything else later).
In this post, I’ll be writing about characters, the place they have in the novel, why they are an important part, and give you tips on how to develop your characters to fit your novel.
A note before we continue: many of the categories and archetypes are old and traditional so you may find some roles stereotypical (as do I). However, these are meant to give you inspiration. If you find an archetype stereotypical and want to change it then, please, do so. We need change, diversity, and innovation.