Hey writers! Welcome to the fifth installment of my character series – Static!
What is a Static Character?
Static characters are the opposite of dynamic, in the sense that they do not go through any significant changes and rarely change at all throughout the story. Because of this, they are not typically the main character or protagonist, but can help move the story forward in highlighting aspects of the dynamic character.
How Do You Build A Static Character?
Step 1 Identify their purpose.
Though they are rarely the main character, they still must have a purpose in story. A static character can describe anyone. The key detail to remember is that they don’t go through any significant changes. Still, they have their part to play and that should remain consistent throughout.
ex. The static character is the mother who always makes sure her daughter is cared for.
Step 2 Create an interesting personality
A static character can be a good person or a bad person. What will your reader find the most interesting from this character? Are they a school teacher who likes to punish their students for no reason? A hero who has many tales to share about their great adventures? What defining features make them intriguing?
ex. Disciplined, Adventurous, Studious, Party-goer, Righteous.
Step 3 Know why they are unchanging.
This is related to their purpose in the story. Understanding why they don’t change can help you see them more clearly as a static character. Why is it important that they remain consistent throughout? How does their personality and lack of change affect other characters? This unchanging trait is not necessarily a bad thing. If they are the ones meant to be the strength, the backbone of the group. What benefit would it have to change that about them?
ex. They must remain unchanged to provide a safe place for their friends.
Step 4 Build the connection between readers and characters.
How important is the static character’s role in the story? How will your readers connect with this? It’s important for every character to have a purpose and for the reader to understand what that is. This increases the likeability of the character and shows how developed they are. Since they don’t have to go through any changes, it should be clear who this character is, what their goals are, and how they relate to other characters.
ex. The static character is a loving mother looking after her kids. Readers can relate to mother-child relationships and understand who the character is better just by knowing they are a mom. The layers of their personality can come gradually through the story.
Step 5 Keep them relevant in the storyline.
Just because a character is static does not mean they are disconnected from the story. They play an important role and may even be defined by a protagonist, antagonist, or confidante as well. All of the layers we’ve discussed come together to show the reader just how necessary they are to the story. How have they moved the plot forward? How have they proven their importance? What do they add to the story that the other characters just can’t?
ex. The mother always encourages her daughter to succeed and pushes her out of her shell, helping her transform into who she was meant to be.
Congratulations on creating a static character! How many characters do you have in your story? You’ve created a protagonist, antagonist, confidante, and a dynamic character. Some of them are the same character or there are multiples of each. Your cast is coming along nicely!
Thank you for reading about a Static Character!
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