The 10 Secrets Of Resilient Characters


The key to surviving in this world – and any fictional world you create – is resilience. It is not the strong who survive, but those who can weather change, because life is nothing but change.

You do not need to be braver or bigger or louder. You do need to be able to bend with the wind, get up when you fall, and move forward when it seems impossible. This resilience strengthens you emotionally in either a positive or a negative way, and allows you to continue.

This is why your two most important characters – your protagonist and your antagonist – need to be resilient. Resilience is neither good nor bad, which is why it works for all characters who have goals and the desire to achieve them.

Are your main characters resilient enough for your story?

Resilient characters:

  1. Accept help when they need it
  2. Adapt to change
  3. Learn how to cope with setbacks and disappointments
  4. Focus on finding ways to get around problems, rather than on the problems themselves
  5. Make mistakes and then learn from them
  6. Learn to accept constructive criticism
  7. Make the most of their strengths
  8. Recognise their weaknesses
  9. Recover from failure and rejection
  10. See the bigger picture in challenging situations

We do not enjoy reading about static characters who are trapped by their thoughts and circumstances. We want them to find that self-belief that forces them out of the prison of their heartaches, tragedies, and even the limitations of their victories.

So dare to create dangerous characters who have more moments of strength than moments of weakness. We love characters who are strong enough to withstand anything we throw at them – these are the characters worth rooting for.

Join us for Writers Write – How to write a book.

If you enjoyed this post, you will want to read:

  1. Personality Disorders – DSM-5 Resource for Writers
  2. Personality Disorders – A writer’s resource
  3. Eight Personality Disorders – Illustrated

This article has 0 comments

  1. JazzFeathers

    This is a brillinat way to look at it. I’ve never considered this angle, but I like it 🙂

  2. Amanda Patterson

    I’m glad you found it useful.

  3. Mike Bauer

    Amanda I love your insights, I only wish you were in the US. I’d sign up for your classes immediately.

    Love your work (I am a follower of yours on Google+)

  4. Amanda Patterson

    Thank you, Mike. I am glad you enjoy the posts, here and on Google+.

  5. Michelle Wallace

    Great insights!

  6. Stephanie

    I love your list of traits of resilient people and the idea of keeping these in mind when creating characters. Terrific idea!

  7. Writers Write

    Thank you for the feedback.

  8. alchemist

    The most resilient character ever: Naruto. That’s why there are about 800 episodes of that show. He is resilience personified. Most of the characters on that show are pretty resilient. It makes for a magnificent story.

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