Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Even 3D Characters Have One Dominant Trait

We've discussed several times in this blog how to make your characters seem three dimensional.

Easy Formula for 3-D Characters
Character Complexity
Naming Your Characters

However, if you have too many contrasts and nuances, you can end up with character mush.

For that reason, it's a good idea to identify a dominant trait in each of your major characters that will predominate during the story.

A story is an enactment of what is, most probably, the worst and or most exciting thing to ever happen to your main character. When this one major stimulus occurs, one part of your character's personality will determine their reaction.

Your main character should be heroic in some way. For him/her, choose a heroic trait, like bravery, or kindness, honesty, or compassion, or maternal/paternal/fraternal/sororital bonds. The Seven Cardinal Virtues are an easy list. I like the ones first espoused by Aristotle and Plato: temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage, supplemented by the three virtues from the New Testament: faith, hope, and charity/love.

Your other characters, co-protagonists, antagonists, etc., can have heroic, anti-heroic, or neutral traits, such as the seven deadly sins (PEWSLAG: Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, and Gluttony,) or any of the heroic ones above, or such neutral ones as stupidity, ambition, recklessness, introversion or extroversion, etc.

More about characters and how to introduce them, next.

Thanks for reading!
Here’s two interesting 99c short stories for you to read: (More fiction coming soon.)
Nag Is Hindi for Cobra (All Formats)

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