After meeting your characters you must know what each character is. At that point, it useful to make clear some basic categories of your Characters. Well here they are:
- Main Hero
- MH’s close company
- MH’s second company
- Villain’s company
- 3d characters.
- Leading characters
Your Main Hero can be a single person or several, like a team. However, do not overdo it! It is critical for your reader to “feel” the main character and be identified with him! The more the main heroes, the more difficult it is. That does not mean that you cannot succeed it or that it is wrong in any case! I just highlight the easiest way. What is wrong is thinking that the more the easiest as more people could find someone to get identified with. Well, if you select to create a team of Main Heroes they must be all of the same level. You do not want to make someone seem “better,” in any kind than the others. If you do so your readers (as they might like another of your main characters) would think “Hey! Cheating!”, and get angry. You surely do not want that. What you could do instead is select one Main hero and make the others his close Company.
Main Hero’s close company
These are all the characters that are helping our Main Hero to achieve his goal effectively. For example, a Harry Potter’s close company is Hermione and Ron.
Main Hero’s second company
These are all the other people might help your MH in some way according to the circumstances. It is up to you who they will be. They could also be totally unknown to your MH.
He/She is your MH’s antagonist! You have not to make him evil if you do not want to. All you have to do is to explain why he is considered as an antagonist! Yes, you have to make clear his motivations even if they are evil. In that way, you make your readers “feel” your villain as well and understand him. In that way, you create even greater conflict! I will give an example that the villain is an antagonist, but she is not evil at all!
Example: Sara is 18 years old in high school in her graduation year. She loves drawing, and she practices it since she was 8 years old. Her drawings are astonishing, and she hopes to win a scholarship for the Art College. Her family is really poor, and they cannot afford her to study in a university. So the only hope for Sara is to win that scholarship!
Sara, of course, is our main Hero. Let’s get know our villain.
Gabrielle is at the same class with Sara. She loves drawing as well, but she knows that she would never be as good as Sara. She comes from an especially rich family. They want Gabriele to study medicine. Gabrielle hates medicine! However, they pay for Gabrielle’s private drawing lessons as they want their daughter to be the best. Gabrielle needs the scholarship for the Art college otherwise she will end up studying medicine!
Now the Art College announced that they will give a scholarship only for one person! Who is going to win it? Consider how greater the conflict would be if Sara and Gabrielle would be best friends!
It is the same as MH’s company. Usually there is not close or second but you can separate Villain’s company if you like.
These are characters are not taking part effectively in our story. For example, it could be the milkman (if you are in US), a salesman in the next door mini market, etc. I suggest keeping the number of 3d characters as small as possible! You do not want to tire your readers describing characters that you are going to use very little or at all in the main plot!
That is a character that leads to the next step of the plot! It has not to be the MH. He might be MH’s mother who tells him that his father was murdered in his lab! Or something like this! You need those characters but be careful of what we mentioned above. Do not create too many 3d characters! So it is better to use someone of the already known characters!
Plotting Your Characters.
I use to mind map my characters. In that way, I have a quick access to all of them and decide when and how I am going to use them. Here is an example. Note that for the description of my MH I have written just the basic t have in mind. Do not do that immediately. First meet your character as we discussed in the previous article!