Archive for November 3rd, 2009

Nov 03 2009

How to Write Distinct Characters

Published by under Character Development

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Your readers have probably read about heroes with any given positive trait, particularly if the trait is commonly associated with a protagonist in your type of book.  (For example, a detective is almost always more cunning than a barbarian).  However, this is not inherently problematic.  If you’re writing a detective story, your protagonist is probably (at least somewhat) cunning because it wouldn’t be much of a detective story if he just bumbled through it Magoo-style.  It’s not a problem that he’s cunning as long as you do something else to make sure that he feels fresh. 

1.  One way to make a character with a conventional trait (like a cunning detective) and take the trait so far it almost becomes a flaw.  For example, Captain Kirk is so brave he’s reckless, Charlie becomes so smart he’s alienated, many lawyers are so slick they’re oily, etc. 

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