Writers Write is a comprehensive resource for writers. In this post, we look the very important characters in your books and what you need to know about them.
I believe these are the Very Important Characters (VICs) in a story. Their motivations drive your story and we want to know what happens to them at the end. Other characters like love interests and friends play supporting roles in well-plotted stories.
I think it’s a good idea for authors to know as much as possible about VICs. Even if you never use all the information, you will know them better than you know yourself. I suggest you complete a good character biography template, like the one we use on our Writers Write course, or create your own.
7 Essential Things To Remember About Very Important Characters
Seven ways to ensure you give VICs the attention they deserve:
- Make them powerful enough to make choices.
- Make them the centre of attention. Even if they aren’t in a scene, the other characters should talk about them or think about them.
- They must make frequent long appearances throughout your book. If they don’t, you may have cast a character incorrectly.
- Make their actions and decisions memorable. As VICs, they are responsible for taking actions or responding to events.
- Make the reader empathetic towards them. Your reader does not have to like them, but they need to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
- Make these characters viewpoint characters. Readers like to see the story through their eyes.
- Make sure they are worthy opponents for each other. If you want to create a compelling, memorable protagonist, you need a strong, three-dimensional antagonist. (Read 10 Essential Tips for Creating Antagonists)
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© Amanda Patterson