Character: 1. A person in a novel, play, or film. 2. The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
Without your characters, you don't have a story. It is as simple as that.
Let's think about that for a second. A story is the ups and downs of an individual, or a group of connected individuals' lives. Without those characters, your story will simply be a string of events happening one after another. There will be no reactions and no emotional stakes.
Let's face it -- it's the characters in a story that have us coming back for more, time and time again. They have a big job to do, and that's to make you care. In this aspect, it goes without saying that protagonists have the biggest job to do of all. But, open any fiction book and more than likely, you'll discover that it holds a colourful cast of varied characters that all play different roles in the story.
Some examples of character roles are:
The Protagonist -- the point of view character and person responsible for fixing the main problem of the novel.
The Antagonist -- the bad guy. This character blocks the protagonists path at every turn, making it difficult for them to succeed.
The Sidekick -- the protagonist's unflinchingly loyal friend. They support the main character and their actions are often a key part of the hero's success.
The Mentor -- this character's role is to provide the lesson that, upon learning it, will unlock new potential in the protagonist.
Can you think of any other fictional character roles? Let me know in the comments below.
Missed last week's post? Check out B is for... Beginnings here. Look out for the next post in the series, D is for... Dialogue.
Author of short fiction and journals for writers.