How To Define Your Character's Narrative

How To Define Your Character’s Narrative


To define your character’s narrative, you need to discover the WHY.

What is a narrative?

A narrative is a story.  It is the way in which we present a situation or series of events that reflects a specific point of view, which comes with its own history and set of values.

Every character has a story arc within the main story arc of your novel. Usually, the protagonist shares the same arc as that of your book. The arc is the shape of your story and it is defined by the actions of your characters.

How to define a character’s narrative

Your character’s narrative is shaped by something that happens and what he or she decides to do about it. It is motivated by the WHY.

  1. Why does the character react in that way?
  2. Why does the character choose a goal?
  3. Why will the character win or lose?

If you can figure out why your characters behave the way they do, you will be able to figure out the shape of their story. You will have identified a narrative that suits them.

If you want to find out more about your character’s background, use one of our character questionnaires.

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

 by Amanda Patterson

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