Plotting Characters: Hero, Heroine, and Villian

Besides spending time plotting out stories, I love working on my characters. They’re incredibly important, otherwise there would be no story, so I like to spend as much time as possible figuring them out.

Like most, I start working on my main character (who with this particular story just happens to be the hero). I work on how he fits in the world I’ve created and just who is. What he looks like, his likes/dislikes, his personality, his family, how he relates to those around him. That’s the best part, you’re bringing this whole person to life.

They never come fully formed to me, but once I figure most of those things out, they begin to take over as I write and I can see how I want the rest of their journey to go. How I want them to grow and change as the story progresses, where they need to end up.

Once my main character is formed for me, I then start figuring who their other half will be. It’s important to me to give them someone who balances them out. Whatever one lacks, the other has, to lift one another up. Give them that one person who will help them grow and challenge them to be better.

Then, I like to throw in everything else. Those who will throw a wrench into all of that.

Which also includes the villain!

Villain’s, I think, are every bit as important to the story as your hero/heroine are. Everything that they do against the main characters and why they do it. What brought them to that point and why they feel it’s right. So I spend just as much time figuring out their history and how they arrived at the point they do when my story begins.

Having a villain be villain just because you need a bad guy is okay and works, but making them just as complex as your other characters I think as a depth not only to them, but to the overall world you’ve created.

This may not be anything new you’ve heard, but I just wanted to share my thought processes on this little journey of mine. I’ve learned so much over this past months I began writing this particular book, world building and characterization especially.

What do you think?


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