Characters

The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 2: Characters

The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 2: Characters

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.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 7: Mentor Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 7: Mentor Archetypes

This is part 7 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different mentor archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

 

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 6: Sidekick Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 6: Sidekick Archetypes

This is part 6 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different sidekick archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 5: Antagonist Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 5: Antagonist Archetypes

This is part 5 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different antagonist archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 4: Antihero Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 4: Antihero Archetypes

This is part 4 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different antihero archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 3: Hero Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 3: Hero Archetypes

This is part 3 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different hero archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 2: Heroine Archetypes

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 2: Heroine Archetypes

This is part 2 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you different heroine archetypes. I will provide examples of characters from both literature and movies/TV-series to provide you with an overall understanding of fictional characters.

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 1: Categorizing Your Characters

The Epic Guide to Character Creation, Part 1: Categorizing Your Characters

This is part 1 in a series called The Epic Guide to Character Creation. In this part I will show you how to categorize your characters. Characters are one of the essential pillars of a story. Every writer should know that. Take that pillar away and the story will fall apart.

The truth is that in every sensational story is an extraordinary character (or, even better, more than one). Extraordinary characters do much more than just advance the plot. Extraordinary characters jump off of the page and grip the heart of the reader. You want that just as much as any other writer, right?

The Ultimate Story Checklist: 33 Questions to Check

The Ultimate Story Checklist: 33 Questions to Check

There are a few things that every story needs in order to captivate a reader’s interest. In this post I will offer you a story checklist of the essential pillars you need in your story. This checklist will be most helpful during the revising process. However, the points that are listed below can be useful to have in mind before you write your first draft as well.