Text © Amanda Patterson
Writers Write is your one-stop resource for writers. We love to read about believable characters in books. You can do this by using this infographic as your character development checklist.
‘Character is plot, plot is character.’ ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
In an ideal world, novelists would perfectly combine plotting and characterisation. Instead of having character-driven novels or plot-driven novels, we would have unforgettable characters reacting to the events created by a brilliantly paced plot. If writers tie the character’s motivation and story goal to the plot, they won’t have a problem with this. The character should suit the plot. The plot should suit the character.
The novels I remember best have empathetic characters whose motivations I understand – even if I don’t agree with them – and a plot that I can’t stop thinking about. The best novels make me think – that could happen, and what would I do if it happened to me?
‘As authors we like our protagonists. We are tempted to protect them from trouble. That temptation must be resisted.’ ~Donald Maass
The best way to take protagonists out of their comfort zones is by creating impressive antagonists. If your story were told from the antagonist’s viewpoint, he or she should be strong enough and complicated enough to be the hero of the story.
Character Development Checklist
Here is a great checklist to see if you have created a worthy protagonist and antagonist for your plot.
© Character Checklist Infographic by Martina Boone (@MartinaABoone)
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