What is a story without characters? Well, probably a very boring one! Characters are the key to every good tale. Great authors recognize the need for complex, well-developed authors. They also know that in order to make an interesting story, they must have a few essential characters.
Here are five characters that writers should fully develop and include in their novel.
Remember this word from high school English class? The protagonist is the main character in your story. Your novel should almost always focus on this person. Typically, this person is faced with a challenge and must work on resolving that problem throughout the novel. As an author, you should be growing and changing this character throughout every chapter. By the end of your story, you should be able to see a path from where the character started to where he/she ended.
Yep, this is the bad guy! The antagonist is the character who is creating the problem (or problems!) for the protagonist. This character needs to be as well developed as the protagonist as he/she is a key character in your story. Your readers will want to know why this person is doing what they are doing. Like the protagonist, the antagonist often grows throughout the story too – to either be a better or worse person.
Think of the confidant as the little angel on the shoulder of the protagonist. This character is the protagonist’s most trusted friend. He/she is in your story to help your protagonist grow and guide him/her through the conflicts that arise throughout the novel.
The foil helps readers see the true self of the protagonist by being the total opposite. This character can help the protagonist grow by teaching him/her new ways. Or, the foil can act as another antagonist by challenging the protagonist.
Stock characters are the most simply type of characters and do not need much development; however, they can be essential to your story. An example of a stock character could be the woman selling flowers next to the protagonist’s office. Good authors use stock characters to better define the scenes and, sometimes, to foreshadow what may arise later on.