Character Writing Hub

Learning how to write characters is key to telling a great story. Use this character writing hub to find our best posts on how to write characters. Read about stock and archetypal characters, character descriptions and more. Use the table of contents below to jump to the category that interests you.

Learn about character writing:

Flaws and Strengths
Goals and Motivations

Get our practical eBook guide with exercises for developing believable, interesting characters: How to Write Real Characters.

Character Archetypes

Read about Jungian character archetypes such as the ‘Warrior’, the ‘Lover’ and more:

1. Character archetypes: How to enrich your novel’s cast

What are the 12 main character archetypes? How can you use them to write diverse casts for your stories? Read this to find out.

2. 5 ways to subvert character clichés and archetypes

Character clichés make characters flat. How can you subvert overused character tropes? Learn here.

3. Archetype examples: Write great characters from universals

How can you use common character archetypes creatively? Read tips for changing characters’ archetypes mid-way through your story, making different types clash for interesting conflicts, and more. Read the post. 

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Character Conflicts

Great character conflicts supply the drama and excitement that keep dynamics between characters in an intriguing state of flux. Read about person vs self and other conflict types, as well as tips for stoking tensions.

4. External and internal conflict: Definitions, examples and tips

How do you create characters whose internal conflicts compete? What’s the difference between internal and external conflict? Read this for help creating character conflicts.

5. 6 story conflicts possible in your book

What are the 6 main types of story conflicts your characters can encounter? Read about different types of conflict that can provide challenges and trials by fire for your characters.

6. 6 conflict types in fiction: Man vs self

What happens when a character is their own worst enemy? Read this post for tips on writing characters who are torn by a struggle with self.

7. Person vs society: 6 types of story conflict

What happens when a character is in conflict not just with one or two others but their entire society? Learn more here about writing character vs society conflicts.

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Character Description

Writing strong character description ensures readers can picture your characters. Learn how to describe eyes and hands, describe characters’ postures, voices and more.

8. How to describe: Writing clear places and characters

Read tips on everything from finding the right character adjectives to describe your characters to using setting description to reflect the observing character’s personality.

9. Character posture: How to describe characters’ bearing

What does your character’s posture tell the reader about them? Learn more about describing your characters’ posture.

10. How to describe hands: 6 ways to make characters real

What do your characters’ hands tell the reader about them? Read tips for describing hands.

11. How to describe clothing in a story: Creating characters

What do characters’ clothing say about their status and position? How can you use clothing to contrast characters’ personalities? Read tips on these aspects of character clothing description and more.

12. Describing characters: How to describe faces imaginatively

What does a character’s face tell the reader about them? Read tips for describing characters’ faces in interesting ways.

13. How to describe eyes in a story: 7 simple tips

Describing characters’ eyes is full of cliché pitfalls. Read tips for being more creative with eye descriptions.

14. Realistic dialogue: Creating characters’ speech patterns

How do you make characters’ speech in dialogue reflect their context? Read tips here.

15. Talking about your character: Voice

What does your character’s voice say about them? What are practical methods to create distinct character voices? Read tips here.

16. Character mannerisms: Describing character quirks and tics

What are the tics, mannerisms or quirks that make your characters unique? Read tips for creating character mannerisms here.

17. Character description: 7 ways to avoid weak imagery

How do you keep character description relevant to your scene? How do you avoid weak description? Read this article for answers.

18. Character description examples: 7 lessons from famous books

Read character description examples from well known books and the lessons good descriptions teach us.

19. How to describe a person vividly: 7 tips

How do you make character description vivid? Read tips to bring out each of your characters’ unique qualities.

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Character Development

Character development is an important part of giving characters depth. Find all our articles on developing your characters below. Read about creating believable backstory and building strong character arcs.

20. 5 character background writing tips: Better backstory

What events in your characters’ pasts shape them? Read this article for tips on writing better backstory.

21. How to write backstory but not bog down your book

Too much character backstory can sometimes imbalance the flow of your book. Read tips for balancing backstory with present-time exposition.

22. Character development: 9 tips for convincing arcs

How do you shape a character’s development from the start of your story to the end? Learn more about creating strong character arcs.

23. Character development questions: Building character arcs

Sometimes developing compelling character arcs is a matter of asking the right questions. Read questions to ask about your characters’ arcs.

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Character Flaws and Strengths

Giving characters flaws and strengths makes them more human and relatable. It also gives characters advantages and disadvantages, throwing additional factors into the mix when your characters faces obstacles and challenges.

24. Character flaw list: 30 intriguing character flaws

What are flaws that make characters complex? Read a list of 30 character flaws from ‘lust for power’ to ‘greed’, ‘jealous’ and more, with examples.

25. Good character flaws: Create complex antagonists

What character flaws make interesting antagonists? Read this article for insights.

26. Character flaws: Creating lovable imperfections

What flaws make characters relatable and help us connect with them? Read flaws you can use positively in character development here.

27. What are good character traits? 7 helpful attributes

What attributes help people get ahead, win friends and lovers? Read tips for creating likable characteristics in your story’s cast here.

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Character Goals and Motivations

Giving characters goals and motivations gives characters’ arcs direction. Goals and motivations explain why people make the choices they do. Read our best posts on giving your characters believable goals and motives.

28. Character motivation examples: 7 tips for clear motives

What motivates your characters? How do you show motivation? Find answers to these and more.

29. Character motivations: 6 questions on what drives your characters

How do character motivations tie into backstory? What do your characters fear most? Learn more about understanding characters’ motivations.

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Character Introductions

The first time we meet a character it’s a great opportunity to learn a memorable detail or two that cements said character in our mind’s eye. Read our posts on character introductions and making characters more memorable.

30. How to introduce characters: 6 ways to be memorable

What are the different ways you can introduce a new character in your story? Find suggestions here.

31. How to start a story in first person: 8 pointers

When introducing a first person narrator for the first time, here are ways to make this character memorable.

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Character Names

Naming characters is hard. How do you give characters names that fit? Read our best posts on naming your characters:

32. Naming characters: 5 steps to find fictional character names

What’s in a name? Read tips for using name meanings and symbolism to make each character’s name count.

33. Character profiles: 5 questions for a detailed cast

Once you’ve named a character, there’s still more info to add to flesh out their profile. Read this post for ideas.

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Character Types

Different types of characters serve different purposes in a story. Read our best articles on character types below:

34. Writing a main character: Definitions, tips and examples

What exactly is a main character? What is their story purpose and how do you create a good one? Read tips here.

35. Protagonist examples: Creating memorable main characters

How do you make a main character memorable? Learn about creating strong protagonists.

36. How to create a villain readers won’t forget: 6 tips

How do you create an unforgettable villain? Try these suggestions.

37. How to write a villain: Writing a more human antagonist

How do you make the villain in your story more human? Try these tips for writing complex villains.

38. Creating villain motivations: Writing real adversaries

How do you make your villain’s bad deeds more believable? By giving them believable villain motivations.

39. How to write a character unlike you

Sometimes you need to write a character completely unlike you. What are some approaches for getting this unfamiliar character type right?

40. Types of antagonists: Creating riveting opponents

What are common types of antagonists? Read about creating malevolent villains, interfering authorities and other types of antagonist.

41. 5 fantasy character types to enliven your fantasy fiction

What are familiar types we come across often in genres like fantasy? Read common fantasy character types.

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