Hey writers! We’ve reached the fourth installment of my character series – Dynamic!
What is a Dynamic Character?
These characters are defined by the way they change throughout the story, the significant arc from beginning to end. They learn and grow from their experiences, understanding more about themselves and the world they live in. Commonly, a dynamic character is also the protagonist, say if you’re writing a coming-of-age story.
How Do You Build A Dynamic Character?
Step 1 Identify their significant transformation.
The transformation is the key in identifying as a dynamic character. They have to experience something that helps them change as a person. What is impacting them to push them to have a new perspective on life? Typically this change is a positive, inspiring, one of self-improvement. Know what the end goal is for your character to reach by the end of the story and understand how it changes them.
ex. Elizabeth is a bitter old woman until she meets a new friend who helps her discover the joys of life.
Step 2 Know what makes them interesting.
Considering the dynamic character is usually the protagonist, they should be interesting with their flaws and all! You’re not just building a fictional character, you’re creating a person that readers can identify with. Their flaws are relatable and learning how to accept and grow from those flaws helps their transformation. Make them human!
ex. Ignorant, Care-Free, Self-aware, Unmotivated, Friendly, Smart
Step 3 Give them a thorough personality and backstory.
Again, since this character is usually the central one in the story, they should have full personalities and backstories. This is not a defining feature of a dynamic character, but important nonetheless to help you and the reader understand what makes their transformation important. What has brought them to this point in their life? Why is the change needed? Who are they and are they strong enough to come out on the other side as a new person.
ex. This character lost their parents at a young age and have always been lost and unsure of who they are.
Step 4 Understand how the reader will connect.
As mentioned before, your characters are not just fictional pieces, they are reflections of a real person, a human with flaws, hopes, and dreams. Think about the reasons why your reader will relate to or connect with your character? Are they similar? Is this transformation a common goal for many? What will make this character stand out to the reader?
ex. The story is a coming-of-age piece and the character is looking to discover who they are in their final year of high school.
Step 5 Build the transformation gradually.
Since the transformation is so important to a dynamic character, the lead up to the final revelation is very important! You have to lay the groundwork within the story. Help the reader understand who the character is and what they’re working towards. Connect the reader and the character and explain why this transformation is so crucial for this character. Give the reader a solid reason for how this can come about and why it’s happening. If the change comes out of nowhere and the buildup was too quick or too weak, the reader may have trouble believing it.
ex. The character struggles with addiction and has all their life. It isn’t until their childhood best friend falls into the same life that they decide they need to make a change and get clean.
Congratulations on creating a dynamic character who will journey through a valuable learning experience. What else does it take to create a dynamic character? Share in the comments.
Thank you for reading about a Dynamic Character!
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