7: 5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters
In this episode, I'll walk you through five questions that will help you write compelling characters. I highly recommend using these questions to flesh out both your protagonist AND your antagonist, but you can also use these questions to help you develop your secondary characters, too. Here's a preview of what we'll cover:
[01:45] Question 1: What does your character want? Your character's goal will help you shape the external plot of your story as well as each of your story's scenes.
[05:00] Question 2: Why does your character want to achieve this goal? Your character's motivation needs to be strong enough to push them through the story without allowing them to give up.
[06:55] Question 3: What's standing in his or her way externally? What's the external conflict? This is essentially the antagonist or the antagonistic force in your story.
[8:20] Question 4: What's standing in his or her way internally? What's the internal conflict? This is essentially any inner demons, fears, or an outdated worldview that your character needs to overcome in order to succeed in accomplishing their goal.
[10:30] Question 5: What's at stake if they fail to accomplish their goal? In other words, what are the consequences for your protagonist if they fail?
[12:30] Key points and episode recap.
[14:00] How many characters should you answer these questions for?
[14:45] Bonus exercise: Grab your favorite book and see if you can answer these five questions for the protagonist. Were the answers easy to identify?
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Links mentioned in this episode:
- Episode Freebie: 5 Questions to Help You Craft Compelling Characters
- How to Handle Character Backstory in Your Novel (blog post)
P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!