If you’re a new writer, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of making all your characters be different versions of yourself. They might look different and have different goals, but their personalities blur into one another and their speech patterns are identical, so it ends up reading like you’re having conversations with yourself.
If you are writing in the fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi genres, you’re going to be writing scenarios for your characters that are, technically, unbelievable. In reality, people don’t believe that the White House is going to be blown up by aliens or that witches and wizards are being trained in magic in a big school, yet we are able to believe it in the story because of how it’s written.
Tracking your character’s emotional state is an essential part of continuity when it comes to your character’s arc. When your character experiences emotions, you need to make sure you carry the ramifications of that with them into the subsequent scenes.
One of the first rules for your Protagonist is that they should want something, and ideally they should be wanting something they are actively in pursuit of. A passive Protagonist has things happening to them and around them, and they’re reacting to those things, rather than pursuing something themselves.
The lie your Protagonist believes takes your character at the start of your story where they will believe something about the world, and follows them through the course of the story as they learn the truth.
Your characters are one of the most important things about your story, they’re how your audience connects to the story you’re telling, how your plot moves along, and, usually, the point of the story in the first place. To write good characters that your audience will be interested in and want to follow, either by reading or watching, you have to be good at characterisation. How you bring them alive and make them interesting.
I’ve written before about the difference between the Protaognist and the Antagonist in your story and how you use them, but in some stories you’ll want to use multiple antagonists. I’ll give you some examples of how multiple antagonists can be used in one story, different kinds, and the effect it has, using one of my favourite films in the whole world as an example: Jurassic Park.
If you’re writing an ensemble cast, rather than just a single protagonist and antagonist, you may need to be able to write with multiple Protagonists, and understand what that means and how to do it well. However, an ensemble cast doesn’t necessarily mean you have multiple protagonists, you may have a large cast revolving around a single Protagonist. They’re only a Protagonist if you’re directly following their story.
The Death Of A Mentor is a technique used in story to motivate the Protagonist, by killing the person who has taught them to do what it is they do.
Most of the time when you go into reading a book or watching a film, there will be a person who’s telling you the story, it might be the lead character who’s POV you’re in, or an actual narrator. That’s usually a person who you trust is giving you an accurate account of the events occurring in your story. However, there is such a thing as an “unreliable narrator,” and I’ll be explaining how and why you might use an “unreliable narrator” by referencing the book The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.