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Dynamic Characters: Differences, Examples, and How to Write Them

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  • October 11, 2023
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  • 7 min read

Writing

Developing interesting protagonists and antagonists is essential for your readers to remain engaged. These dynamic characters grow and develop as the plot progresses. They are not fixed but instead change all the time.

How come this matters so much? To connect emotionally with the characters, readers need to feel like they know them intimately. You’ve succeeded as a book writer if your readers are interested in your characters.

Dynamic Characters VS Static Characters

Dynamic characters change and grow as the story progresses, while rigid characters stay the same. A great and memorable main character is generally one who changes and grows. Static characters are for the rest of the story.

Writing experts believe you can write a main character who stays the same, so this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. For a comprehensive understanding of writing techniques, including crafting characters, you might find valuable insights in articles like How Long Does It Take to Write a Book.

Most of the time, the main character remains the same in series stories like spy novels, mysteries, and other types of books where each can stand alone but has the same main character.

In addition to these two main areas, they tend to be different in two others:

Part of the story. Generally, story protagonists (like Ebenezer Scrooge) change over time, while story antagonists (like Captain Hook) tend to stay the same. But this is only sometimes the case. Darth Vader is known for being a dynamic, lousy guy, while Sherlock Holmes is known for being a staid main character. Explore more about fiction vs nonfiction to enrich your understanding of how characters evolve.

Most of the time, viewers care more about characters who change because they can relate to the character’s journey and want them to succeed. To keep people’s attention the same way, static figures must have fascinating personalities and a lot of character depth.

Examples of Dynamic Characters

Captain Hook, the main bad guy in Peter Pan, is a mean and stupid pirate captain who stays mean and stupid throughout the story until Peter Pan beats him. To further explore dynamic character examples, you can delve into the intricacies of storytelling in articles like Best Mystery Audiobooks. He always remains the same and learns things important.

In any of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, the famous detective doesn’t go through any significant changes on the inside. Holmes always looks at the world with the same clever, confident attitude, even in a challenging situation.

There are many versions of the Captain America story, each with a different amount of patriotism. However, the main character of Captain America is always a good person who wants to help others and serve his country. His personality stays the same, even though he goes through significant changes on the outside.

How to Write Dynamic Characters

Dynamic Characters are considered a key element of a good story because they are fun to watch change and help readers care about the character’s journey. To gain practical insights into creating dynamic characters, explore articles like How to Write a Book Review.

If you’re keen on making your characters come alive, consider implementing strategies like setting a goal for your character, as discussed in the article on writing a historical book. To make your characters come alive, here are some ideas brought by American Author House, a renowned place for writers and authors.

1- Set A Goal for Your Character

Someone needs to want something, even to get through the day. For what do they fight? What drives your personality? Why do they keep going even though things are hard?

Setting a goal for your character will help you give them problems to solve and move the story along. And having to deal with difficulties pushes them to change.

2- Give Your Character Flaws to Overcome

Perfect people are not attractive to read about. Characters become interesting when they fight with and get past their flaws.

Your character should have flaws, so they must work hard to change. This could mean being shy or self-centered.

Characters are more believable and authentic when they have flaws. Your characters shouldn’t be perfect because no one is.

3- Write Down Your Character’s Past

You should know everything about your character, even things that have nothing to do with the story. This will help them feel like a natural person.

Please give them a past, a family, friends, and foes. What made them the person they are now? What do they want, and what do they fear?

Your character needs to change to be interesting; a good background is the building block.

4- Make Foil Figures

Putting a character with someone who is the exact opposite of them can help show how active they are. This type of figure is called a foil character. You should use contrast and highlight certain traits to help us see how your main character changes.

The more they become like the foil characters since the story’s beginning, the more attractive they are.

The story and TV show The Expanse is an excellent example of how to use a mirror character. James Holden, one of the main characters, is a good guy. Many people see him as the face of a terrorist group, even though he has never shot anyone.

His real goal is to discover who killed his shipmates and crew members viciously. He’s more like the story’s hero.

5- Write Contrasting Characteristics

The idea that a character can only be honest with other people but always lies to themselves gives them room to grow and change. Building up problems within your character is a great way to show what needs to change for them to reach their goal.

Plus, it makes them seem real. People could be better, and we have a lot of inconsistencies. Take some time to think of how your characters could be against themselves.

Here are some examples of Dynamic Characters that are at odds with each other:

  • Many times, he is very naive but intelligent in other areas. He is very talkative and open but doesn’t trust anyone. He always wants to be alone but can’t stand being around others.
  • She is shy and quiet, but she makes requests instead of questions.

6- Character Development

In the end, show how your character has grown or changed. Have your character think about their journey? This is the best way to show how they’ve changed. Find out what they learned about yourself. When did things start to change in their story? What did they do to get past their problems?

Having your character think about or talk about what happened will help the reader understand and enjoy how they changed. People can see how much they’ve changed and how far they’ve come.

7- Stick to A Character Arc

A character’s journey through change is often called a character arc. Depending on the kind of story you want to tell, this can be a character arc that is either good or bad.

No matter what path you pick, make sure you stick to it. A dynamic character makes good and bad decisions throughout the story, but their general arc must be either good or bad.

Key Characteristics and Profound Details

Character Type Characteristics Importance in Storytelling
Dynamic Characters Change and grow throughout the story Engage readers with their evolving journey
Static Characters Remain the same throughout the story Provide consistency and contrast to dynamic characters
Protagonists Often dynamic, undergo significant changes Drive the story forward and connect emotionally with readers
Antagonists Can be dynamic or static Serve as a foil to the protagonist, enhancing the narrative tension
Character Development Techniques for creating dynamic characters Essential for making characters relatable and memorable
Character Arcs The journey of a character’s transformation Defines the path of growth or decline in a character

Conclusion

Dynamic characters are essential to bringing a narrative to life. Connecting your character with a purpose, a diverse personality, and obstacles to conquer enables you to generate a dynamic persona that captivates the reader. If you’re looking to enhance your understanding of character development, explore the art of business planning, which can provide valuable insights into crafting compelling narratives.

Create dynamic characters that will elevate your story by applying these guidelines.

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