Did you do your homework? Of course, you did! And that means you’ve generated a basic idea for your NaNoWriMo project 🙂
Once you have a basic idea of the plot, the next thing on the list is to determine some of your main characters. What? We’re not writing out a full outline next?
No, gentle reader.
Not just yet.
Your characters help to define the plot. Once your characters become more fleshed out, they will begin to act like Sims with full autonomy while you simply notate their actions. Knowing how your main characters behave will determine how your outline will look.
Not just yet. Your characters help to define the plot. Once your characters become more fleshed out, they will begin to act like Sims with full autonomy while you simply notate their actions. Knowing how your main characters behave will determine how your outline will look.
There is no right or wrong amount of characters to have; some books are character-heavy and others might focus on just one main character. What is important is to make sure that you have your character bases covered:
- Protagonist: The main character in your story. Even if your character is a “bad guy”, they are still your book’s protagonist while the “good guys” will be that book’s antagonists.
- Assisting Character: Your protagonist’s “person”. Who the protagonist confides in throughout the story. If your protagonist is a lawyer, non-human entities like a journal, a plant, or even a goldfish can be the assisting character.
- Antagonist: The opposition to your protagonist who stands in their way of getting what they want. Your protagonist will need to outsmart the antagonist to succeed on their quest.
- Boss: This is your biggest bad guy. Often, the Boss either has control over the antagonist or “employs” the antagonist. The Boss is the main enemy, and their character is normally not known for the first 1/3 or 1/2 of the story.
- Antihero: The antihero rivals your protagonist but is good at heart (though they try not to show it). They will often wind up helping the protagonist defeat the Boss either directly or indirectly, but they will rarely help the protagonist defeat their antagonist, commonly siding with the antagonist if it helps the antihero achieve their own goals.
Pretty simple, huh? And that takes us to tonight’s homework…
Pull up the same document that you used yesterday to generate your plot idea(s). Make a few line breaks, and jot down ideas for each of the character models listed above. Try to include a first name, an age, a gender, and an ambition for each character. Tomorrow, we will develop them further…
For help developing these main characters, take a look at my guide on how to quickly create believable characters.
For a sense of camaraderie (whether for NaNoWriMo or for writing in general…or to learn about other indie authors), I encourage you to join my Reader’s Nook on Facebook! It’s free and FUN 🙂