If you want your readers to become emotionally invested in your story, you need to create dynamic characters. These are characters who change and grow throughout the course of the story. They are not static, but instead are constantly evolving.
Why is this important? When readers feel like they know the characters well, they will be more likely to connect with them on an emotional level. If you can make your readers care about what happens to your characters, then you have succeeded as a writer.
In this article, we will discuss six tips for creating dynamic characters that bring your story to life!
Dynamic character definition
A dynamic character is one who evolves and grows throughout the narrative's course.
The main thing that sets dynamic characters apart from static ones is the journey they take. Dynamic characters will experience change or a character arc, whether it's internal or external. This can be anything from a change in their beliefs, values or a physical change. They grow as a person, overcome their flaws, or undergo a redemption arc.
Dynamic character examples
- Darth Vader from Star Wars
- Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series
- Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones
How is a dynamic character different than a static character?
The difference between dynamic and static characters is that dynamic characters change and grow throughout the story, while static characters do not.
A static character is someone who remains the same throughout the course of the story. They may have some minor changes, but their overall personality and worldview does not change.
Antagonists are probably the most prevalent static characters in stories since they need to be a consistent force to overcome for the protagonist.
Since they do not go through a character change, major characters who are static are usually the one who instigate the change in other characters. But not all static characters are bad, some are the moral compass to other characters like being the mentor archetype to the main character.
Static character examples
- Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock Holmes stories
- Obi-wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy
- Voldemort from the Harry Potter series
Tips for writing a dynamic character
1. Create a backstory for your character
You should know everything about your character, even the parts that are not relevant to the story. This will help you make them feel like a real person.
Give them a history, a family, friends, and enemies. What shaped them into the person they are today? What are their hopes and fears?
Having a good backstory is the foundation of the change your character has to go through in order to be dynamic.
2. Give your character a goal
A dynamic character needs to want something, even if it is just to get through the day. What are they fighting for? What motivates your character? Why do they keep going when things are tough?
Giving your character a goal will help you create obstacles for them to overcome and help push the story forward. And obstacles to overcome forces them to change.
3. Give your character complex personality
One way to create dynamic characters is to give them complex personalities. This means that you should not simply make them good or bad, but instead give them a range of qualities that make them multi-dimensional.
Complex personalities make dynamic characters more relatable to the audience because everyone has a complex personality in real life. It makes the change they go through even more believable.
4. Give your character flaws to overcome
A character who is perfect is not interesting to read about. What makes a character dynamic is when they struggle and overcome their flaws.
Make your character flawed so that they have to work hard to change. This could be anything from being insecure to being selfish.
Flaws are what make characters relatable and human. No one is perfect, so why should your characters be?
5. Choose a character arc and stick with it
The change a dynamic character undergoes is often referred to as a character arc. This can be either a positive character arc or a negative character arc depending of the type of story you want to tell.
Whichever arc you choose, make sure you stay consistent with it. A dynamic character makes both good and bad choices during the story, but their overall arc needs to fulfill a positive or negative arc.
[.article-cta]Learn about the Hero's Journey and how it can be used for your character's arc.[.article-cta]
6. Show how your character has grown or changed in the end
The best way to show that your character has changed is to have them reflect on their journey. What did they learn about themselves? What were the turning points in their story? How did they overcome their obstacles?
Having your character look back or talk about what happened will help the reader understand and appreciate their character development. This will show the audience how far they've come and how dramatic their change is.
Dynamic characters are essential in making a story feel alive. By giving your character a goal, complex personality, and flaws to overcome you can create a dynamic character that will keep the reader engaged. Use these tips to create dynamic characters that will make your story shine.