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What kind of characters should i have in my book

Mr. boxhead

New Member
So I've got many characters planned out, some better than others. But still i would like to diversify how characters act and think etc I'd say a lot of my characters are very grumpy(couldn't find the right wordXDD)
 

ABearsGarden

Dreamer
Depends entirely what your story needs and what you want. If you want to start out with any specific archetype as a "template" then branch it out into something more unique i.e. not a stereotypical example of X archetype, I recommend looking up different character archetypes. Upbringing of your characters will also play a good part in how they turned out.

If you want a more time consuming process, perhaps for certainty that what you choose is what's necessary: you could also give re-reading books, or rewatching any shows, that you like; see if any character acts similarly to what you need, want, and "study" how it's portrayed. Try taking a glance at other mediums, too, with more similar characters. There's a lot of ways to depict what could be labeled the "same" type of character, just like how real humans with similar personalities can be vastly different.


Multiple "grumpy" characters is not so bad so long as they stand out from each other/are not the majority. Personally, as much as I favor "grumpy" types, having them fill so many spots within a single group can be lackluster. Albeit, this can stir issues among the cast themselves depending on how well they get along. I suppose that goes without saying, though.

Out of curiosity, how many characters are there exactly/how many behave this way? Are they actually "grumpy"? You say that you could not find the correct word. Does this imply that at least one character might, in fact, have something else going on outside their personality, such as a disorder? Or did you mean something along the lines of "rude", "short-temptered", "standoffish", etc.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
I am not sure how to address this. If you have too many grumpy characters and want to diversify, have some not be grumpy.


Why are they grumpy? Is just cause the scene lends itself too it, or just you find it difficult to express something dIfferent.

Give one a love interest and put them in a scene together. See if they are still grumpy.

Characters should not be trait 1: grumpy. They should be things with goals and motivations and obstacles to overcome.
 
Grumpy as in they all have negative personalities?

It depends on the story. Maybe everyone in your story is grumpy. But so what? What is the story about?

Those are questions that you could maybe ask yourself.

I could otherwise just name the seven dwarves.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
There is no good reason to want more variety just for the sake of more variety. It's really about what the story needs. And you can't really decide that until you've written at least a draft. When you do that, you'll discover many things, but two are relevant here. First, you'll find your characters have more variance than you think right now. And two, you'll discover some just aren't working.

Work on those.
 
Broken ones.

Be mean to your characters. Have them go through all kinds of horrible stuff. Both in the tale and before it. If you think you're being too mean to your characters you're about halfway there...
 
Broken ones.

Be mean to your characters. Have them go through all kinds of horrible stuff. Both in the tale and before it. If you think you're being too mean to your characters you're about halfway there...
Yep, if your character can imagine the worst thing possible then that's what should happen.

Room 101.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I dunno. Does every story need to be dialed up to eleven? Does every character situation be life and death? Not every hero has to save the world to be a hero.

I think most immediately of Thomas Burnett Swann, who wrote quiet stories that sometimes involved perfect horrors but which were also very limited in scope and even in consequences. Even REH had Conan mostly just trying to save his own skin and not much more.

There's nothing at all wrong with having worst things happen. Epic fantasy almost demands it. But there's room for other kinds of stories as well. Sometimes the most interesting challenges are not the worst things but merely bad things. Or even good things.
 

BearBear

Archmage
I start with one main and they usually get eclipsed by other, better mains. So then I either have to de-emphasize the first main, make them secondary or attempt to keep their storyline relevant even though it's really irrelevant.
 
I dunno. Does every story need to be dialed up to eleven? Does every character situation be life and death? Not every hero has to save the world to be a hero.
Yes and no. The hero doesn't need to save the world, or have PTSD, or always end up in life and death situations. The character, and his flaws and arc need to match the story you are telling. But within that framework, you don't want to have perfect characters who are great at everything and succeed on their first tries.

Look at your average romantic comedy. Those are pretty much never about saving the world, but only really about will they get together. But the 2 main characters always have some flaws and limitations, something which they struggle with, and in some cases have to overcome. They are not broken in the sense that they suffer from major childhood trauma, but they are in a way that creates conflict for that tale, in a way that fits the type of story being told.
 
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