Get your free copy! How to Introduce Your Main Character
Understanding character archetypes and learning how to develop a character are critical components when deciding how to bring your hero (or heroine) into the pages of your book. Do you start with an action scene depicting your lead doing something amazing? Do you wait and start with a sub-story, bringing your main character in only after setting a scene? In 13 Reasons Why, author Jay Asher introduces one of his two main characters, Clay Jensen, in a prologue that shows him mailing out Hannah Baker’s package after the day’s events (which you will experience over the course of the novel). But he doesn’t really introduce Hannah Baker until Chapter 1. This was deliberate and clearly chosen to draw the reader in (and it works!). That’s why How to Introduce Your Main Character is an important read, as it gives you all the tools necessary to think through the ever-so-important task of revealing your lead character to your readers. While there are other resources that provide a character archetypes list, this free download challenges you to look at your character from all angles and make decisions based on what you find. Its goal is in line with yours: Finding the best way to bring readers into your story and help them identify with your characters. That’s why we’re offering it up for free—you just need to download it.
Great Expectations within Character Development
In your novel, just like in real life, first impressions matter. During character creation you must keep in mind that how you introduce your character will convey and set certain expectations for your reader. You don’t want to start off with a long character bio, but you will want to focus on certain elements. And your early character description will go a long way in developing your protagonist vs. antagonist relationship that will ultimately make or break your novel.
Who is this Person? Building Personalities in Characterization
Some writers are plot-first novelists. Others are character-first novelists. Either way, you can’t ignore the importance of character development. While there are character archetypes that are used as outlines when creating protagonists and antagonists (and secondary characters as well), it’s key to avoid writing stereotypical characters. After all, novels with stereotypical characters—or characters who have virtually no differentiation from one another at all—are not typically published. You must figure out who your characters are.
Prologue vs. Chapter One
How you start your novel relies heavily on your character arc and how you want to introduce your main character. After hammering out some character sketches, you need to decide if the first scene of your novel involves your main character or if the scene is out of time sequence and is being used to set up suspense down the road. Taking everything mentioned in this free download into consideration is essential when deciding where your lead comes into play.
Capturing Your Hero’s Essence
When you’re focused on character development writing, you can study up on archetypal characters to understand the inner workings of a solid hero. But when learning how to develop characters, you really need to understand what is at your main character’s core. Have you done your homework in creating everything there is to know about your character—including background, history, phobias, nervous habits, etc.? There’s a two-fold process that can help you turn the literary characterization of your lead that you’ve developed in your notes into dynamite scenes that will have your readers thirsty for more story about your main character.
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