Real questions about imaginary people.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

12
votes
8answers
5k views

Software for developing and organizing characters

I'm looking for a software that helps me develop and organize the characters for my novel. What I want: something like a filesystem, with a file for each character it should have or allow me to ...
11
votes
8answers
641 views

My cool character is doing nothing for the plot. How do I deal with him?

So I have this great character( not the main protagonist), who is funny and intelligent. Each scene I write for him is a delight. But the problem is, he is doing nothing for the plot. I have tried to ...
1
vote
6answers
106 views

How to make distinguishing characters who have almost the exact same traits?

I have a problem. I have 2 main characters, A and B, who have pretty much the exact same personality traits. The trouble is, this is historical fiction and I can't change who they are. The 2 ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it appropriate to use real-life quotes in fantasy/sci-fi novels set in alternate worlds?

Situation: You have an imaginary world, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever, and you are at a point where, as an author, you know a suitable quote for the situation a character is dealing with. Is it ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

How to write an instructor instructing others about complicated tasks?

I am want to write scenes in a story which include one character providing instruction to other characters on how to perform complicated tasks that require a lot of technical detail and applied ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Could children get tattoos? [closed]

This might be a strange question but if I took a character who is an adult male with tattoos and have him transform somehow into a child would he still have his tattoos as a child or would his skin be ...
3
votes
4answers
76 views

How to write about Autism and Intellectual Disability?

In a novel I'm writing, I have a minor character who is either autistic, or has an intellectual disability. (I know they're different. But like I said, he's a minor character, so I haven't really ...
6
votes
4answers
397 views

The backstory's overwhelming the actual story

I have a character with a grim past (forced to watch torture). I need him to have that grim past in order to explain his behaviour in the story I am writing now: characters who did not know his past ...
4
votes
3answers
195 views

Good way to create character names?

I find that a problem that I run into quite often is the fact that I can't create names that sound real, but also have a nice ring so that they fit the character. Does anyone have any suggestions on ...
22
votes
11answers
7k views

Killing the protagonist - should it be done?

I am an aspiring author, but I have written several short 'test novels.' With each of those, it became increasingly clear how you have to develop the main character, the protagonist. After all, the ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

“multiple personalities” for character development in writing?

How can I train myself to think in "multiple personalities" so I can use these personalities for character development in writing?
9
votes
5answers
369 views

What to do when characters disagree with the plot?

I'm writing a romance novel and have hit a brick wall. The problem is every way I think the future lovebirds could meet and become friends is totally cliché. After thinking about it, I've realized ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Do I have to write my book in the main character's POV?

I know there's 3rd person etc... but can a story be told from a secondary character's POV? or does that never happen and would be useless? I want the story from the girl's view, but i really want the ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Main character trouble

So when I'm trying to write backstories for all of my main chars and side chars I can get the general idea on how I want them to act what they have been through ETC. But when I try to write about my ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

At what point disappointment and frustration within the story makes the reader abandon it?

Does Game of Thrones get any unpleasant when a whole bunch of characters die every season, for example? Leaving hooking elements aside, at what point does exploration of uncomfortable aspects from ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

What is a “reflection character?” How is s/he different from an antagonist?

My understanding is that a "reflection character" is someone who acts as a "foil" for the hero(ine). This is someone the main character fights with, or at least interacts with, a lot. How is this ...
5
votes
7answers
170 views

How to handle characters being funny in a dire situation without ruining the mood

There's one thing I always find impressive and moving when I see it in accounts of historical events or depicted well in fiction: gallows humour, when a person who is facing likely or certain death ...
0
votes
3answers
193 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
4
votes
6answers
514 views

Tips for adding more personality to characters?

Often I read a new book only to find that the characters are flat, boring, and lacking in personality. Sometimes I even find that in my own characters, and when that happens I usually just remove it. ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Non-human protagonist - Good, bad, or up to the writing?

In a novel I plan on writing soon, the main protagonist (and indeed nearly everyone else in the story as well) is an elf. Humans are present, but they are far in the mountains, living in disorganized ...
11
votes
7answers
498 views

The polymath's dilemma…?

The main character of a YA story I am working on is fast becoming a polymath, i.e. someone with a broad base of skills and interests across unrelated areas of endeavor. I really like how this ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Studies of when to kill a character

I have a pretty simple question: Are there any studies/surveys that show the appropriate time to kill a main character earliest? I am talking about studies among readers/viewers of ...
8
votes
6answers
916 views

The opposite sex in first person?

I have been writing about not just one, but two females; sisters. I've toyed with different methods/persons in this, but it seems I've come to an obvious roadblock. I wouldn't call it "writer's block" ...
5
votes
8answers
291 views

How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
3
votes
5answers
150 views

How do I demonstrate ideological differences between characters who are politically not too different?

I'm currently writing a novel, in which two characters who are old friends are having an argument. I'm writing the argument to establish who the characters are and what their values are (the argument ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

Female Pet Names that a Londoner might use

I was wondering about female pet names, like darling, sweetie, pet, babe etc. One of my characters refers to his other half as "pet" but I've been told that this is common to the North East (UK). As ...
6
votes
4answers
326 views

Is it ok to be autobiographical with a main character?

This question really comes down to a personal issue I've had present in my fiction. I'm still very new as far as being a writer is concerned. So a few (if not all) of my main characters seem to be ...
4
votes
5answers
648 views

Does it confuse readers if a character name is similar to the name of an object?

It has been said that you should avoid similar sounding character names. One recommendation is to let character names begin with different letters of the alphabet, and not having them rhyme or ...
3
votes
6answers
128 views

How to name characters of unspecific nationality and race?

I am writing a generic story. I have a setting that is not tied to a specific region on earth, though the story certainly does occur on earth, and there are numerous references in the setting that ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

How ordinary must my protagonist be if the book is written from his/her point of view?

What I've found in most books I've read is that the protagonist is "normal" and/or "average" (at least in the beginning). I believe this is because most readers should be able to relate to the ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

How to show that a character is quoting from a book?

I am editing a text in which the characters use quotations from the Bible quite often. Example: Jeremiah turned toward him, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

MLA parenthetical citation of a character in a novel

If I am writing my essay on only one novel, and I have made it clear in the previous sentence that the quote is from a character in said novel, do I still have to include the authors name in the ...
2
votes
4answers
264 views

Making characters multidimensional and unique. What can i do?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story and i have quite a number of characters that i want to deploy in the story. However, these characters should each have their own agendas in life, their own internal ...
5
votes
3answers
787 views

How to write a character who uses a lot of smalltalk without boring the reader?

Since a lot of what they say is by definition irrelevant to the plot should I just skim over it? I'm worried this might make their manner unclear to the reader and I don't want their impression of ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Question about longer chapter length flashbacks

I'm working on a novel. The POV never leaves my main character (third person point of view.) Throughout the story he is given hints at a past life so to say. In reality the man has been alive since ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Name and Nickname

Is it acceptable to use both name and nickname when referring to my character? Example: Vindici waited for Eustachio to make his way up the hill towards him. "What news?" Vindici asked. "Well," ...
8
votes
4answers
805 views

How can I ensure my POV character's writing isn't too sophisticated?

I am writing a piece which features two POV characters. A conceit of the story is that the POVs are writing their chapters, so each one reflects not just their personality, but how my characters ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Character in Macbeth that maintains integrity in position of power? [closed]

I'm writing a movie based off of Shakespeare's "Macbeth". It includes characters directly linked to the original play and is loosely based off the plot but all in modern times. I know that Macbeth is ...
3
votes
5answers
240 views

Changing main character within a trilogy, is a good idea?

I am writing the first novel which will be part of a trilogy. For plot reasons, I am considering to change the main character in the other two parts (will be the same in the last two books). But I ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

How do I manage a plot with two protagonists? [closed]

I'm a beginner manga plot writer. On the first season of my story I have a protagonist A. How can I manage the second season if I want as protagonists the protagonist A from the first season and a ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it better to describe the main character's physical appearance early on in the story?

I'm writing a novel, and I just realized I don't describe be main character's appearance until Chapter 3 (each chapter is 1500~2000 words long and there are 25 chapters in total). I do mention that ...
0
votes
1answer
913 views

How do I write my own character sketch?

I have to write a character sketch, and I have to pick an object (example: vase, key, dress, ect.) to base the character on. So the object has to be important, but my professor doesn't want it to be a ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How do you mention the same character with two very different descriptions?

In a screenplay, if you have a single character whose appearance and significance changes at some point - how do you note/explain that it's the same character? For example, I might have a MASKED ...
7
votes
8answers
4k views

Example of a fictional story without any characters (the story being 1000+ words)

Guessing that there is no such example, but if there is, I'm very interested in knowing about it. Just as a short example, just to make it clear it's possible; the example is not intended to be a ...
0
votes
8answers
353 views

Story without any character development whatsoever?

Is it possible to write a story with one single character and no development of that character at all.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time. When the main character stumbles upon them for the first ...
8
votes
3answers
146 views

Needing to Believe the Story Is Real

I am writing a series of interconnected metafiction stories revolving around epic fantasy tropes. The basic premise involves gradually building up an epic narrative and then breaking it down, and the ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

The president, the nickel and the dime [closed]

Not sure if this is on topic here: I remember back when I was a kid, I read a story about a US president. When he was a kid, he was stupid and fooled by people. They often gave him a choice of a ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Main male character description

I've been asked to write a story as an assignment. It should have as the main male character an unusually smart, clever, insightful and thoughtful guy who is somewhat reserved and mysterious. The ...