How can I make this character matter??

Forums Fiction Characters How can I make this character matter??

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  CalebOnline 5 days, 20 hours ago.

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  • #65322

    The Fledgling Artist
    @the-fledgling-artist

    Does anyone have any interesting, random, or crazy ideas on what makes a character matter to the overall story? I have this character that I feel I need for thematic reasons, but it wouldn’t really make sense to any of the other characters for her to be a part of what they’re doing. Am I making sense?
    I guess I’m trying to ask, what can I do to make this character important enough to have any reason join the other characters?

    Would it help if I gave a few of the reasons it might not make sense to the characters?
    First of all she is sickly and wouldn’t be much help in the action. Next, because reasons, it’s super important that she doesn’t touch the protagonist. And because same reasons everyone except her brother would be distrustful and uncomfortable around her.

    How can I get her to be a part of my squad??

    I greatly appreciate any input! Thanks guys. (Feel free to ask questions if I’m not making any sense.)

    @anyonepleasehelpme

    "Sometimes God gives us mountains,
    just to take us higher."

    #65324

    turtleshavetoes
    @turtleshavetoes

      @the-fledgling-artist She could have something they need, such as knowledge they don’t have, and she’s then useful to them even if she can’t otherwise help and they don’t trust her.

      🐢

      #65333

      Katherine Baker
      @kb-writer

        Trying to throw my own thoughts into the question. First, a few questions: are your characters on some sort of quest? What is the group trying to accomplish (or are they just friends)? Is her brother in this group?

        Anyway, here are some thoughts without those answers: If her brother is in the group, perhaps he brought her along (to take care of her, perhaps?)

        Does she have a skill that the others are in need of and lacking? (Even if it’s as simple as being able to forage for plants or knowing how to bandage wounds, something that would aid in the band’s survival would garner her a reason to join).

        Does she have a debt to someone, or does someone have a debt to her? (Maybe by some circumstance she has to come [i.e. someone saved her life and she won’t leave them alone trying to repay a life debt, she has helped someone else (financially or otherwise) and joining is the way she wishes to be repaid]).

        Like @turtleshavetoes said, does she have knowledge the others are needing and lacking?

        Can she force her way into the group without the group’s approval? Does she even want to?

        Does someone in the group (i.e. her brother) feel responsible for her? Do they need to take care of her?

        Similarly, would she die if she were left alone? Do they feel morally obligated to bring her along?

        Does someone have a crush on her and is keeping her on the team?

        Is someone keeping her on the team so they can keep an eye on her?

         

        If I’m not understanding you, please give me any clarification that you can tell I’m missing. I hope something I said here sticks. 🙂

        Always remember you're unique...
        ...Just like everyone else

        #65341

        Thomas
        @thewirelessblade

        Just an idea here (That I’ll use more than one, I’m sure): Make the character disappear for a good hunk of time, then, when all hope seems lost, bring that character back.

        *Forum Signature here*

        #65343

        The Fledgling Artist
        @the-fledgling-artist

        @kb-writer
        Yes they are on a quest of sorts. Her brother along with the other characters in the group are trying to accomplish something that could be boiled down to defeating their world’s source of evil.

        I like the idea that she’s there partly because her brother.. Though I’d like to give her a little more agency then that if I can figure her out.

        All of what you’ve said is very helpful food for thought. Thank you!

        @turtleshavetoes I like that.. Though I’m not sure yet what kind of information she could know that everyone else doesn’t. (especially her brother.)

        @thewirelessblade I would like, if possible for her to be present for most of the story. But thank you for the idea! I’ll take as many of those as I can. ^-^

        "Sometimes God gives us mountains,
        just to take us higher."

        #70167

        Michaela
        @mgtask

          This idea depends on the genre, but what if she has a hidden superpower? Maybe every time she uses her power, she loses a bit of health or strength. That could explain why she’s so sickly. Also, she could sacrifice herself by using her last bit of power to help someone, which means draining her last ounce of health. I know it sounds cruel, but maybe it would be good to add the tragedy aspect.

          Another way you could make her useful is if she has useful knowledge about something (i.e., a prophesy, the way the world used to be, a secret code/language, etc.)

           

          #70172

          The Fledgling Artist
          @the-fledgling-artist

          @mgtask Thanks for your ideas! 🙂

          "Sometimes God gives us mountains,
          just to take us higher."

          #77973

          CalebOnline
          @calebonline

          @the-fledgling-artist I think that as long as the character contributes to the theme of the story (and plot too?) that she doesn’t need to be WANTED within the group, and maybe her being an outsider is something that people reading your story can connect with.

          So it could possibly be that she’s just a non-influential character and you need to give her some more motivation… just a thought 😀

           

          Here is more of an answer to your question XD. Everyone has gifts of some sort so maybe throughout the course of the story she can find her place and become accepted over time. Maybe her rejection is not so much her flaw as it is the flaw of the other members of the group that they need to overcome… she could be the tension used to develop your other characters.

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