Introduction[edit | edit source]
In literature, character refers to a human, animal or mythical being that forms part of the narrative. In some cases non living entities (for example, an artificial intelligence) can be a character. Definition of character is an essential component of all good fiction. This book takes you through the key elements of creating characters in your writing.
Broadly there are two types of character: the protagonist and the antagonist. The protagonist is the story's main character, central to the plot. The antagonist is the character in opposition to the protagonist. Two other definitions are frequently encountered: round characters and flat characters. Round characters are those that are fleshed out in detail, with, for example, a back story that explains their motivations. A flat character is less well rounded, possibly even one-dimensional. They are not usually central to the narrative. Indeed, making them central to the plot would probably be a mistake as their flatness makes them generally uninteresting to the reader.
The next pages take you through the steps to create a round character. To create a flat character, the same steps are followed but to a lower level of detail with, possibly, some sections missed out completely.