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For Aspiring Writers

Your Character’s Novel Worthiness


Any character in your story is there to serve a purpose. It could be:

  • To make the story world look more realistic
  • To add emotion
  • To give a clue
  • To add humour
  • To help the main character/To oppose the main character
  • To add conflict
Kurt Vonnegut wrote, ‘Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.’
When deciding the primary and secondary characters and if you’re the sort of writer who writes summary, think about their novel worthiness – how do they contribute to your story?
Character Growth

A character should evolve throughout a story. A story includes a conflict in which a character deals with, and if you think about it, even the smallest of experiences in life changes us – our viewpoints on certain things alter, we get a better sense of what we want in life, what we like, what we dislike, so similarly, a character inherits and develops all these perceptions and characteristics as any human would.

And since the conflict in a novel should be a big event in the characters life, you’d expect them to develop quite significantly, and overcome an obstacle or learn something, e.g. only trust certain people, or trust more. In a way, that is changing, but evolving seems a better word to me.

As to answer, ‘WHO should change in a story to make it a good story, and HOW MUCH?’, it depends. A main character is a definite to that one, but you may have minor characters that have their own little sub-plots and are dealing with their own traumas of live. Just ones that you want to have the readers show a little empathy for, just to pull another string at your readers hearts, although their overall purpose is to serve the plot in one way or another, they’re emotional appeal is just a way to enrich the plot, so long as it doesn’t get too complicated.

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4 thoughts on “Your Character’s Novel Worthiness

  1. Pingback: KUNA WATU WAZITO NA WEPESI…and this is why! « njaukinyanjui

  2. Pingback: Getting to Know Your Main Character | A Serendipitous Happenstance

  3. Pingback: Writing Advice From Kurt Vonnegut | anniegirl1138

  4. Pingback: Stuck? It’s not you, it’s your character! « Fantasy In Motion

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