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How to Write Complex Characters

Updated: Feb 8

Imagine a book without characters, a movie without a lead, a tale without a hero or a villain. Is it  even conceivable? What is a story without the heart beats that give it life? Its characters.  




Welcome to the world of character creation; a realm where imagination and reality intertwine, giving birth to the very essence of storytelling. Creating a protagonist isn't merely about sketching a figure on a canvas. It's about breathing life into that figure, giving it a soul, a voice, a past and a future. It's about creating a three dimensional believable entity. It's about  crafting a character so real that they leap off the page or screen and become a living,  breathing part of the audience's world. 


Backstory forms the backbone of a character–the unseen threads that weave together to form the tapestry of their existence. It's the past experiences, the triumphs and tragedies that shape and make them who they  are. A character's backstory is the silent whisper behind their actions; the unseen force that drives  them forward or holds them back.


But a character is more than their past. They are their wants  and needs, their dreams and desires. These are the goals that propel them, the ambitions that  fuel their journey, and should be the driving force behind every action and every decision they take.


No character is complete without conflict. Internal conflicts, the battles waged within the mind and  heart, are the most compelling of all. They are the struggles between what a character wants and what they need, the clash between their dreams and reality, the war between their desires and their  fears. These conflicts add depth to a character, making them relatable and real.


Remember, a character is not just a part of the story, they are the story. They are the heart that  pumps life into the narrative. Story springs from the character and grows with them. It's their journey, their transformation and evolution that captivates the audience, holds them spell-bound, makes them care. In essence,  creating a believable character is about crafting someone with internal conflicts that mirror the external  conflicts they face. It's about creating a character so human, that they become more  than just a character. They become part of the audience's world.


Characters are  the life-blood of any story; they are the heart that gives it meaning. They are the reason we laugh, cry, cheer and gasp in surprise. They are the reason we care. So remember, when crafting your tale, give it a heartbeat. Give it a complicated character we'll remember.




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