12 types of characters that every writer should know (2023)

They say it takes all kinds to make the world work – and the same goes for stories. If you write fantasy, romance or action adventure,You will need certain types of characters to keep the plot moving and intrigue your readers!

That's why we've put together this handy dandy guide.12 types of characters that appear in almost every story:to help you figure out which ones you need, how they relate to each other, and what purposes they can serve.

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Most writers know how to categorize their characters based on classic "comic book style" labels:Heroes, villains, minions, etc.But in the increasingly complicated realm of stories, there are many more subtle types to consider.

In this post, we're going to examine 12 different types of characters, divided by their role in the story and by their quality.

Character types by role

character rolerefers to the role someone plays in the story. As you probably know, the most important role in any story is the protagonist (which we'll discuss next). That is, all other roles arise from their relationship with the protagonist.

1. Protagonist

DieHerois probably a very familiar conceptfor most of us: this is the main character, the big guy, the star of the show. Most actions revolve around them, and they are the ones we should be most concerned about.

In stories written in the first person perspective, the protagonist is usually the narrator, but not always. The narrator can also be someone close to the MC (like Nick in The Great Gatsby) or someone completely distant (although this is relatively rare).

Every story has to have a protagonist, no matter what.Simply put, no protagonist = no plot.Remember that all other roles are defined in relation to the protagonist - so if you're planning a story, this should be the first character you develop.

Examples of protagonists:Harry Potter, Frodo Beutlin, Katniss Everdeen, John McClane, Dorothy Gale, Hercule Poirot, Indiana Jones, Walter White (who is actually an antihero, as opposed to the traditional hero).

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2. Antagonist

if you are aOpponent,you contradict -What do you do. Specifically, one harms, thwarts, fights, or struggles against one character: the protagonist.

More often than not, the protagonist is good and the antagonist is evil, and this is the source of their conflict. This is not always the case - especially when the protagonist is an anti-hero without typical heroic attributes, or the antagonist isan anti-villain who has noble qualities. Still, 95% of the time, the protag is the hero and the "antag" is the villain.

Antagonists often play as important a role in a story as its protagonists, but they may not be seen as often. They tend not to tell stories and often operate in secret. Indeed, the question “What will the antagonist do next?” can be a source of great narrative tension in a story.

Examples of antagonists:Sauron, Voldemort, The White Witch, Count Olaf, Maleficent, Iago, Regina George

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Reedsy character profile template

A story is only as strong as its characters. Fill in to develop yours.

3. Deuteragonista

Most stories have a main and a secondary protagonist.Deuteragonista(or group of deuteragonists). This is the character that isn't exactly in the spotlight, but it's pretty close.

A do deuteragonistaComic-BuchEquivalent would probably be the helper. They are often seen accompanying the protagonist - giving advice, scheming against their rivals, and generally helping out. His presence and close relationship with the protagonist lend warmth and emotion to the story,So it's not just about the hero's journey,but about the friends they make along the way (aww). Of course, not all supporting characters are friends - some are sworn enemies - but even these less friendly deuteragonists still add depth to the story.

Examples of deuteragonists:Ron e Hermione, Samwise Gamgee, Jane Bennet, Dr. Watson, Mercutio

4. Tertiary Characters

The reason thattertiary charactersNot being called "tertagonists" is because they aren't important enough to be realtormentnothing or nobody. They flit into the MC's life and may only appear in one or two scenes throughout the book.

However, a complete story still requires some tertiaries. After all, we all have them in real life - the barista you only see once a week, the random guy next to you in class - so any realistic fictional story should include them too.

In the list of examples below, we've included the sources for these tertiary characters, as well as their names, in case you don't recognize them. (We certainly can't blame him.)

Tertiary examples:Sir. to surroundA chain of unfortunate eventsRadagast in the film version ofO Hobbit,Padma e Parvati Patil emHarry Potter,Calo and Fabrizio inThe Godfather,Ms. Stahl aAnna Karenina

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5. Love interest

Most novels contain romance in one form or another. It could be the main plot, a subplot, or just a tiny blip on the storytelling radar – but no matter what it looks like, there has to be some sort ofdear interestinvolved. This love interest is typically a deuteragonist, but not exclusively (hence this separate category).

You recognize a love interest by the protagonist's strong reaction to it, although that reaction can vary greatly. Some love interests make your MC swoon; others make them mock. Often, the protagonist initially denies his feelings for that person or vice versa, which is a great tool to thicken the plot.

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No matter what, if they're well written, you should be curious (if not always rooting for them) to know which love interests appear on the page.

Examples of love interests:Mr. Darcy, Daisy Buchanan, Romeo/Julia, Peeta Mellark, Edward Cullen, Mary Jane Watson

6. Familiar

This is even harder to pin down, especially since many stories focus so much on their MC's love interest that other relationships are left out. However, thefamiliarit may yet be one of the protagonist's deepest relationships in a novel.

Confidants are often best friends, but they can also be a potential love interest.or even a mentor. The protagonist shares his thoughts and feelings with this person, even if he is reluctant to share them with anyone else. However, the familiar can also be someone the MC addresses, not because he iswillbut because they feel they have no other choice (like the last example on this list).

Known examples:Horatio, Friar Laurence, Alfred Pennyworth, Mrs. Lovett, Jacob Black, Dumbledore, Hannibal Lecter

Horatio of Hamletis, what character? Find out here! Click to tweet!

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7. Leaf character

ANleaf characteris someone whose personality and values ​​fundamentally clash with those of the protagonist. This matchup highlights the MC's signature attributes and gives us a better picture of who they really are.

While these two often have an antagonistic relationship, foil is usually not the main antagonist. Sometimes, the MC and his role initially clash, but eventually see their differences to become friends... or even more. (Think of the protagonists ofWhen Harry Met Sally:first they are contrasts, then friends, and finally lovers.)

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The exact relationship of the slide to the protagonist depends on the differences between them. For example, if the MC is introverted, their foil might be super extroverted, but that wouldn't necessarily stop the two from becoming friends. However, if the MC is kind and selfless and their foil is extremely selfish, they probably won't get along.

Examples of slides:Draco Malfoy, Effie Trinket, Lydia Bennet, George e Lennie, Kirk e Spock

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Some of these roles may overlap. A deuteragonist can be the MC's confidant. The antagonist can be your foil. Or the antagonist may eventually become the protagonist's love interest! (All fans of Trope of enemies to lovers up here?)

But we overstepped. Let's briefly consider the second main category of character types.

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Character types by quality

character qualityit has to do with what kind of character someone is. This does not refer to his temperament, like B. being good or bad, but rather his nature within the story, such. B. dynamic or static.

These types tend to define your narrative purpose in a story. For example, a dynamic figurecreates a compelling arcfor readers to follow, and a symbolic one represents an underlying theme or moral.

These types can also overlap, although to a lesser extent than roles.

8. Dynamic/changeable character

This is pretty self-explanatory: adynamic characteris the one thatchanges throughout history. They often evolve to become better or wiser, but sometimes they can evolve too - many villains are created through a shift from good to evil, such as Anakin Skywalker and Harvey Dent.

Your story's protagonist should always be dynamic, and most deuteragonists should too. However, you don't have to make the changes particularly obvious for your audience to understand. Along your narrative journey, these changes should occur subtly and naturally.

Dynamic examples:Elizabeth Bennet, Dom Quixote,Ebenezer Scrooge, Neville Longbottom, Han Solo, Walter White

9. Static/Unchanging Character

Then, on the other side, there is thestatic character– the one who does not change. Many static characters are just flat,and having too many is usually a symptom of lazy writing. However, certain species can serve a greater purpose in a story.

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These static characters tend to be unsympathetic, like Cinderella's stepsisters and Harry Potter's uncles - their ignorance of how they mistreat our hero makes them people we "love to hate" and fuels our sympathy for the protagonist. They might also teach the reader a lesson: you don't want to end up like me.

Static examples:Collins, Miss Havisham, Harry and Zinnia Wormwood (Matilda's parents), Sherlock Holmes (a rare static protagonist), Karen Smith

10. Stock sign

characters in stockthey aren't necessarily flat either, although you should be careful with them. similar to archetypes,Root characters are the familiar characters that keep popping up in stories: the chosen one, the wild card, the mentor. You shouldn't abuse them, but they can really help round out your cast and make readers feel "at home" in your story.

The trick to using this type is not to rely solely on your archetypal traits. So when planning a character, you might start with a stock, but you need to embellish it and add other unique elements to give it depth.

Take Albus Dumbledore: he might seem like a handsome 'standard' mentor with his wizened appearance and wise manners. However, his lighthearted quips and foibles shown later in the series show that while he is based on a well-worn archetype, he is a complete character in his own right.

storage examples(who are effectively embellished or spun): Scout Finch (the boy), Nick Bottom (the fool), Haymitch Abernathy (the mentor)

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11. Symbolic character

As already mentioned, acharacter symbolsused to represent something bigger and more important than oneself, which often feeds into the overall message of the book or series. This type also needs to be used sparingly - or at least subtly, so the reader doesn't feel the symbolism is too heavy. As a result, the true nature of a symbolic figure can only be fully understood at the end of a story.

Symbolic examples:Aslan (symbolizes God/Jesus inThe Chronicles of Narnia), Jonah (symbolizes hopeThe donor), Gregor Samsa (symbolizes the difficulty of changing/being differentThe transformation)

12. Round character

Don't confuse this with humpty-dumpty. ANround characteris very similar to a dynamic as both are typicalchange throughout your character arc. The crucial difference is that we as readers can guess that the round character has nuances and nuances.contains tons before any major changes occur.

The round character has a complete story (although not always revealed in the narrative), complex emotions andrealistic motivations for what they do. It doesn't necessarily mean they're a good person - in fact, many of the more well-rounded characters are deeply flawed. But you still have to be interested and excited to follow their arc because you can never be sure where they'll be led or how they'll change. Most great protagonists are not only dynamic, but complete.

Round examples:Amy Dunne, Atticus Finch, Humbert Humbert, Randle McMurphy, Michael Corleone

All the best characters are round 🌎 Meet the main character types! Click to tweet!

With this wide arsenal of character types at your fingertips, your story might just be the stuff of legends (or bestseller lists). Use them now - if you haven't already!

Which of these types appear in your story? How do they overlap? Tell us in the comments below.

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What are the 7 types of characters? ›

7 Character Roles in Stories. If we categorize character types by the role they play in a narrative, we can hone in on seven distinct varieties: the protagonist, the antagonist, the love interest, the confidant, deuteragonists, tertiary characters, and the foil.

What are the 12 elements of a short story? ›

These patterns are where we find the elements of a story.
The 12 elements of every great story
  • A protagonist. ...
  • An antagonist. ...
  • Setting. ...
  • Perspective. ...
  • Something to fight for. ...
  • Something to lose. ...
  • Rising action. ...
  • Falling action.
Jan 6, 2022

What are the 4 main types of characters? ›

They are:
  • The Protagonist.
  • The Antagonist.
  • The Confidant.
  • The Love Interest.
Jan 29, 2017

What are the 14 character types? ›

Here's a list of 14 character archetypes:
  • The Leader.
  • The Outsider.
  • The Caregiver.
  • The Rebel.
  • The Mentor.
  • The Professor.
  • The Warrior.
  • The Hunk.

What are the 100 characters? ›

Answer: 100 characters is between 14 words and 25 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 100 characters is between 16 words and 34 words.

What are the 13 elements of a story? ›

Recognized by evaluating different elements of the book, including style and language, character, plot, illustrations, pacing, setting, tension, design and layout, mood, accuracy, tone, point of view, and theme.

What is the 10 elements of fiction? ›

  • The Elements of Fiction.
  • PLOT.
  • First Person Narrator.
  • Protagonist.

What are the 10 elements of story? ›

Story Elements
  • Setting.
  • Characters.
  • Plot.
  • Conflict.
  • Resolution.
  • Point of View.
  • Theme.

What are the 12 most common archetypes? ›

There are twelve brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage. Let's take a look at a few examples: The Innocent: Exhibits happiness, goodness, optimism, safety, romance, and youth.

What is a 12 character? ›

Answer: 12 characters is between 1 words and 3 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 12 characters is between 2 words and 4 words.

What are the 7 story archetypes? ›

The 7 story archetypes are:
  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.
Oct 31, 2011

What does 20 characters mean in writing? ›

Answer: 20 characters is between 2 words and 5 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 20 characters is between 3 words and 7 words.

What are the 7 elements of a story? ›

What are the Elements of a Story?
  • 1 — A Theme. Plot (#5) is what happens in a story, a theme is why it happens—which you need to know while you're writing the plot. ...
  • 2 — Characters. I'm talking believable characters who feel knowable. ...
  • 3 — Setting. ...
  • 4 — Point of View. ...
  • 5 — Plot. ...
  • 6 — Conflict. ...
  • 7 — Resolution.
Aug 28, 2020

What are the 3 general types of characters? ›

There are a few different ways in which you can classify main characters in a story: flat or round characters, protagonist or antagonist, and dynamic or static characters.

What is a 25 character? ›

Answer: 25 characters is between 3 words and 7 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 25 characters is between 4 words and 9 words.

What are the 12 Shadow archetypes? ›

The 12 archetypes are the Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Rebel, Lover, Jester and the Orphan.

Is it 47 lines or 4000 characters? ›

A maximum of 4,000 characters (or 47 lines of text) is to be used in the personal statement so you must ensure that you structure your personal statement sensibly to include all of the key areas. As your word count is limited, everything you write should be relevant and add value to your statement.

What does 50 characters look like? ›

Answer: 50 characters is between 7 words and 13 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 50 characters is between 8 words and 17 words.

How many characters is 200 words? ›

Answer: 200 characters is between 28 words and 50 words with spaces included in the character count.
How Many Words in Any Number of Characters.
Characters with SpacesWord Count (With Spaces)Word Count (Without Spaces)
800 CHARACTERS110-200 WORDS130-270 WORDS
19 more rows

How many characters are in 300 words? ›

Answer: 300 characters is between 42 words and 75 words with spaces included in the character count.
How Many Words in Any Number of Characters.
Characters with SpacesWord Count (With Spaces)Word Count (Without Spaces)
19 more rows

What are the 25 elements of fiction? ›

Terms in this set (25)
  • Plot. The main events of a play, novel, movie or similar work devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.
  • Rising Action. ...
  • Falling Action. ...
  • Exposition. ...
  • Setting. ...
  • Conflict. ...
  • Resolution. ...
  • Dialogue.

What are the 9 elements of a story? ›

So, keep in mind that you need a main theme, characters, setting, tension, climax, resolution, plot, purpose and chronology for a powerful story.

How should a story start? ›

Starting Stories: 5 Great Beginning Strategies
  1. Strategy 1: Begin with action or dialogue. ...
  2. Strategy 2: Ask a question. ...
  3. Strategy 3: Describe the setting. ...
  4. Strategy 4: Begin with background information. ...
  5. Strategy 5: Have the main character introduce himself or herself.

What are the 11 elements of short story? ›

These are the different parts of a story:
  • Characters.
  • Setting.
  • Plot.
  • Conflict.
  • Resolution.
  • Themes.
  • Morals.
  • Symbolism.

What are the 4 main parts of a story? ›

Elements of Plot. To keep your reader engaged and interested, your story should include these plot elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Let's explore each one.

What makes a story a good story? ›

The best story is a well-told tale about something the reader feels is relevant or significant. The best stories are more complete and more comprehensive. They contain more verified information from more sources with more viewpoints and expertise. They exhibit more enterprise, more reportorial effort.

What is a 5 part story? ›

Five act structure is a formal plot structure that divides a story into five parts, called acts. These are usually the introduction or exposition, rising movement, climax, falling action, and catastrophe or resolution.

What are the 5 things in a story? ›

A story has five basic but important elements. These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow.

What are the 5 main points of a story? ›

There are 5 elements of plot:
  • Exposition.
  • Rising Action.
  • Climax.
  • Falling Action.
  • Conclusion.

What are the 12 types of people? ›

The 12 Jungian archetypes popularized by Mark and Pearson are as follows:
  • Caregiver (Order)
  • Creator (Order)
  • Explorer (Freedom)
  • Hero (Ego)
  • Innocent (Freedom)
  • Jester (Social)
  • Lover (Social)
  • Magician (Ego)
Jan 3, 2022

Who created the 12 archetypes? ›

Carl Jung created 12 archetypes: Ruler. Creator or Artist.

Is there a God archetype? ›

The gods/archetypes are templates on which the individual life is formed. Mythologically, these eternal patterns are thought of as gods, existing in a special place apart from ordinary human experience (whether it be heaven, Mount Olympus , or the sacred mountain).

What does 8 12 characters mean? ›

This means that your password must be of at least 8 alphanumeric character and can reach to maximum length of 12 alphanumeric characters. The term 'alphanumeric' means the combination of upper-case and lower-case alphabets or letters and numbers and special characters (such as @, #, $ etc.).

What character is 40? ›

In the 7-bit ASCII character set, ASCII code 40 is represented by the character ( also known as the open parenthesis (or open bracket).

How many characters are in A to Z? ›

Letters in the alphabet:

The English Alphabet consists of 26 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

What are the 37 plots? ›

Each situation is stated, then followed by the necessary elements for each situation and a brief description.
  • Supplication. ...
  • Deliverance. ...
  • Crime pursued by vengeance. ...
  • Vengeance taken for kin upon kin. ...
  • Pursuit. ...
  • Disaster. ...
  • Falling prey to cruelty/misfortune. ...
  • Revolt.

What are the 5 female archetypes? ›

The seven female archetypes are the innocent (sometimes referred to as the maiden), the caregiver (sometimes known as the mother), the sage, the huntress, the mystic, the queen and the lover.

How long does it take to write 50000 characters? ›

Writing 50,000 words will take about 20.8 hours for the average writer typing on a keyboard and 41.7 hours for handwriting.

How long is 400 characters? ›

Answer: 400 characters is between 57 words and 100 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 400 characters is between 66 words and 134 words.

How many pages is 8000 characters? ›

Answer: 8000 words is 16 pages single spaced or 32 pages double spaced.

What are the 8 parts of a book? ›

These are the parts of a book you need & what we'll cover in detail for you:
  • Book Cover.
  • Title Page.
  • Copyright.
  • Table of Contents.
  • Dedication.
  • Foreword.
  • Prologue.
  • Epilogue.

What are the 8 elements of writing? ›

What are the Elements of a Story? There are eight elements of a story: theme, plot, characters, setting, conflict, point-of-view, tone and style.

What are the 5 elements of creative writing? ›

What makes these authors such remarkable short story writers? They are true masters at combining the five key elements that go into every great short story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.

What are the nine types of characters? ›

How Many Enneagram Types Are There?
  • Type One: The Perfectionist. Type Ones focus on following the rules and doing things the right way. ...
  • Type Two: The Helper. ...
  • Type Three: The Achiever. ...
  • Type Four: The Individualist. ...
  • Type Five: The Investigator. ...
  • Type Six: The Loyalist. ...
  • Type Seven: The Enthusiast. ...
  • Type Eight: The Challenger.
Dec 20, 2022

What are the 5 characteristics of a character? ›

Many actions that the protagonist takes, the decisions that he or she makes, are the result of the following character traits.
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Self-preservation. ...
  • Duty. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Leadership.

Who is the best book character? ›

Coolest characters in literature
  1. Roland Deschain (The Dark Tower) ...
  2. Sherlock Holmes (A Study In Scarlet) ...
  3. Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird) ...
  4. Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) ...
  5. James Bond (Casino Royale) ...
  6. Don Quixote (Don Quixote) ...
  7. Huckleberry Finn (Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn)
Jun 18, 2022

What are the 7 pillars of character? ›

honor and are guided by the Seven Pillars of Character: Caring, Courage, Citizenship, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Fairness.

What is the 7th character? ›

The 7th character represents the type of encounter, or phase of treatment; this could be an initial encounter, a subsequent encounter, or a sequela (previously known as a late effect).

What are the 6 character traits? ›

Use the points below to help young people understand the Six Pillars, and use the mnemonic devices at right to help them remember.
  • Trustworthiness. ...
  • Respect. ...
  • Responsibility. ...
  • Fairness. ...
  • Caring. ...
  • Citizenship.

What are the six elements of character? ›

There are 6 key elements of character, which we'll consider in turn:
  • Courage.
  • Loyalty.
  • Diligence.
  • Modesty.
  • Honesty.
  • Gratitude.
Sep 27, 2016

What are the six principles of character? ›

The Six Pillars of Character are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

What character set only uses 7 bits? ›

ASCII is a 7-bit code, representing 128 different characters. When an ascii character is stored in a byte the most significant bit is always zero. Sometimes the extra bit is used to indicate that the byte is not an ASCII character, but is a graphics symbol, however this is not defined by ASCII.

What's an ICD-10? ›

International Classification of Diseases,Tenth Revision (ICD-10) The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of mortality statistics.

What is a symptom code? ›

A symptom code is used with a confirmed diagnosis only when the symptom is not associated with that confirmed diagnosis.


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