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How to Creat a Character(Character Types)

Updated on April 8, 2014
A single character is worth a thousand stories.
A single character is worth a thousand stories. | Source

If you like making stories like I do, you will gradually, encounter a specific problem along the way. Actually, this problem comes right before you write, and that problem is Characters. Thinking of the right characters for the right story is like thinking of the best jam to put in a nice slice of bread. Different kind of jams compliments different types of bread. But we’re not here to talk about jams and breads; we’re here to talk about characters. Characters, medieval, modern, changing and non-changing alike, handsome and mysterious, beautiful and mischievous, good or bad, maybe good and bad! Heroic or villainous (is that even a word?) Fiction or non-fiction. Let’s get started!

Four main types of Characters:

First, we have to know the two main character types. Well, I like to think of them as the four main character types. These four are Round/Dynamic Characters , Flat/Static Characters, The Protagonist, and lastly, but not the least, The Antagonist. (source: http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/crafttechnique/tp/charactertypes.htm also from my studies in my school, thank you my loving teachers.) I don’t know who made the names Round and Flat characters, so we’ll go with the better and easier to understand Dynamic and Static characters.


Static Character

Static characters are those characters that, well, just as the name says, stay Static. Which means he, she, or it stays the same, throughout the entire story. These Static characters are well known to be main characters in short stories. In novels however, rarely these Static characters become the main character. They are mostly, in novels, the sidekick or a friend of the main character. They may sound boring and uninteresting to most, but remember that these types of characters make the main character look good or make the evil character look bad. These characters shape the story and help the story move forward.

These Static Characters are the easiest to make. You don’t have to change them, they are who they are in the beginning of the book and they are the same at the end of the book. When making a static character, make sure that he/she don’t change(well, don’t change the character too much that people would actually notice it, be a sneaky bastard.).

I thought change is good? Not everytime, my friend. The main character sometimes need someone who’s hard as a nut and resistant to change that it keeps the main character’s goals clear or at least a belief, clear. That’s why a Static character becomes a sidekick or a friend of the main character most of the time. Or sometimes, the main character himself/herself is Static.

Making a Static Character:

Static characters are easy to make. Put different spices of traits, looks and ideals together and you have a Static Character. Place together with a Dynamic character and Boom! You have a good pair of character in your story. I suggest that you start with this type of character. Make short stories and experiment with them.

Which kind of character do you like?

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Dynamic Character

From the word “dynamic” which means active or changing. A Dynamic character is the one who changes, not constantly, but a part in the story changes the character’s beliefs, emotions and such. That part of the story is what I call the “Learning point”. The Learning points maybe a challenge, failure or success that the Dynamic character has to endure then later on becomes changed.

Making a Dynamic Character is quite hard, as you have to create a part where the character changes. Dynamic characters are mostly main characters, but not all the time. Having too many dynamic characters can be a problem as it is hard for readers to keep track of the changes and constant changes can be quite mind-bottling.

Making a Dynamic Character

This one’s quite a challenge. Bio, back story, these are always good. Traits and ideals go ahead and mix them together for this character. But don’t forget the most important part and that part is Change. There’s a reason why Dynamic characters are mostly in novels. They need a good space for them to grow and change, and a long novel is a good place where they can flourish.

There's your dynamic change.
There's your dynamic change. | Source
Your knight in shining armor
Your knight in shining armor | Source

Protagonist

Ahhhh, the good guy of the story. Not everytime. A Protagonist is a main character, but they are not always good, sometimes, they are bad, mad, wild and crazy.

The Protagonist is the center character of the story. He/She would always have the spotlight or at least have most of the spotlight. Most, but not all, Protagonists is Dynamic. Keep in mind that a changing character can be more interesting than a Static character. Most readers are inclined to the Protagonist than the Antagonist.

Making a Protagonist

More of like, making the hero/heroine of your story. Okay, you have to make this character stand-out. Choose between Static and Dynamic. Then if you made up your mind which one, think of a trait that would stand-out, it can be “Brave” or a “Coward”, it can be “Insane” or “Genius” anything that can make the Protagonist stand-out amongst other characters. Another thing to think about is the goals or the mission of the Protagonist. He/She must have an ideal, a goal that keeps him/her going throughout the end of the story.

Oh noes, here's the bad guy
Oh noes, here's the bad guy | Source

Antagonist

The bad, evil, insane, guy in town. Nope, not always. In fact, the Antagonist does not need to be a person. The Antagonist is the one that challenges the Protagonist.

Most people would consider the world villain as a name for the Antagonist. Hard, cunning, smart, the Antagonist will do anything to stop the Protagonist to reach his/her goal. But what happens if the Antagonist is the Protagonist himself/herself? Total mind- Yeah, that happens sometimes. Your worst enemy is yourself.

Making the Antagonist

The same as the Protagonist, this character must be well made. Most Antagonists are evil or has something against the Protagonist. Antagonists mostly do everything to stop the Protagonists from reaching his/her goal. Sometimes the Antagonists have their own sets of goals. So if you want think of a goal for the Antagonist, like world domination or something. (Not just World domination, there are so many other things out there, like something that the Protagonist wants.)

The Antagonist can be Static or dynamic, depending on your choice. Remember, the Antagonist does not need to be a person, it can be an Alien, the world, or the Protagonist himself, if you want that total mindf- Anyways, think of a stand-out trait, most Antagonists rule by fear, some by intelligence, create your own!

A couple of Don’ts

  1. 1. Long Back Stories- Back stories tend to drag out the main story. In books, long back stories can be too much for the reader to handle. Putting back stories in all of the characters is too much of a hassle and it becomes a try-hard-care-for-the-character in the long run. In movies, its fine since they have what we call a “flashbacks” where they show scenarios, sadly, in books it’s words, long words that drag the story. Back stories are fine, but put them in moderate amounts and make sure to continue the story.

  1. 2. Forgetting characters because they are no longer needed- The writer, you, will never know which character the reader will enjoy. Don’t forget about different characters you have made because they are no longer needed. Have these characters stage a comeback at some point.

  1. 3. Concentrating too much in one character- If you’re writing a novel and you have four different main characters, don’t concentrate too much in one. I guess you want the readers to like the Protagonist, but remember that different characters make the Protagonist look good. Without the other remaining characters, the Protagonist would be just a character. Balance your time with all the characters and make them shine once in a while.

Conclusion

You may now have an idea or two about the different main types of characters. You can now create your own. Remember that in creating a character, all it needs is a bit of creativity and hardwork. Make your brain think for a while then write it down. Lastly, remember that everytime you create a character, you give a part of yourself to the world. Happy Creating!



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