Building a fictional character is not an easy task. You’ll agree with me that putting words on paper and “building” the whole world for a reader sometimes takes a lot of research and invested time. In this article, I want to discuss the development of a fictional character and show you what fictional character types exist.
There is no book without a character. Simply said, you always have a classic hero-nemesis setting, which helps you build a story line around their behaviors, needs and desires. Protagonist, the one which leads the story, may not always be on the good side. And it doesn’t have to be and individual, it can be a group of people. What’s important to notice is that the story revolves and evolves around those fictional characters first.
Some say there are four types of characters in fiction, some say there are nine. Depending on how “wide” you wish to go in your story, you might want to read about all of them. Let’s get started:
- Dynamic Fictional Character
- Flat Fictional Character
- Static Fictional Character
- Round Fictional Character
This is based on how the character develops.
Dynamic Fictional Character – as the name says, this character suffers change, being it on an obvious appearance level or in his mental plane. Changes will be noticeable, but maybe not right away.
Flat Character – everything about them is seen as is, all personal traits are revealed and there will be no important change throughout the story. I would say they are somewhat a “supporting role”.
Static Fictional Character – these don’t develop at all. Observe them as random actors in movies, they are there to “make the noise”.
Round Fictional Character – fully “completed”, rounded up and show as they are.
I’ve seen people join these 4 types of fictional characters based on how they develop to other types of fictional characters based on their role in the story. So once we add these on the top list, it makes it 9. I will separate them as a special category based on the role they have in the story. They can overlap with the above types.
See how the villain is separated. Imagine a world with protagonist and antagonist doing what they usually are and then all of a sudden, they both face with “someone more evil”. You guessed it – it’s the villain type. He/she can serve your protagonist to join forces with antagonist and fight together. Or kill them both. Let your mind go wild!
Confidante – a fictional character which is the shoulder to cry on and he’s all ears for anything your main character has to say. A reader learns about the main character via this one.
Use Foil character when you want to contrast any other.
Protagonist – the main character. He/she is not necessarily good. They lead the plot.
Antagonist – they are the reason behind the plot.
Your fictional characters are all equally important to help you make your story line logical and flowing.
Jung has recognized 12 basic types of character responsible for human behavior.
JUNG’s 12 TYPES
The Hero is the main character, he fights against the villains to maintain peace.
The Innocent is usually the one person just looking for happiness and missing a little to get it.
The Regular is similar to innocents while trying to connect with other characters.
The Caregiver is a helper. They are perhaps too good for the world.
The Rebel, as the name says, is a rebel, living by his/her rules and often fighting and/or bringing revolution.
The Creator is creative, artistic and contributes to your world.
The Lover loves it all! He/she is a best friend, spouse, etc.
The Explorer pushes the boundaries of everything he faces with.
The Magician is a dreamer. Working to understand the purpose of life and universe and makes their dreams a reality.
The Ruler – a control freak. Everyone must comply to his rules.
The Jester is a jokester. He/she wants and needs everyone and everything around them to be elevated and happy. Not often the case they manage to achieve this.
The Sage is a wise and quite analytical type.
Did you place yourself somewhere? How about your friends and family? We often base our fictional characters on the people we are close with. Practice with your new knowledge and try to spot where your brother or sister falls in the described categories.
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