S25E4 – A Guide to Designing the Main Character

Stories could not exist without some form of character. Especially in the Hero’s Journey, it is the main character who drives the story forward. Readers connect better to the story when it is about the people inside the pages. That’s why one of the first things any author should build is their main character.

While some authors don’t plan their characters down to every last detail, others will list every aspect of their physical appearance. On top of that, there is the character’s history to consider. They didn’t just spawn into existence within the story’s world just as the story begins. You have to consider moments in their history that made them who they are now.

In this episode, we discuss our guidebook to building main characters. We break down as much as we can within 10 minutes to give you a starting point for creating the key element of your story. We include questions in the book about the character’s defining moments, what they do, who they know, their faults and strengths, and the lie they believe about themselves.

This workbook will be just one in a series we’ll release through the month. Each book is designed to help you plot, build, and write. If you’re a plotter, you’ll probably find the books more helpful before you write. Pantsers can use them to chart and track as they work on their stories. This series, though, is built in a way to help you even if you don’t get the book. You’ll get all the information you need in each episode to help you build your own version, whether it’s about worldbuilding, branding, or creating your own writing prompts.

First aired October 14, 2021.

For additional episodes to assist in building main characters, check out the ones below:
S1E4 – Character Design: Primary
S3E7 – Weaknesses
S7E1 – The Mary Sue
S7E4 – Love Triangles
S7E7 – Plot Armor
S9E7 – Cultural Appropriation
S10 – Designing Your Characters

Our first workbooks are now available! Check them out here.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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