Character Development: Taking Offense
It’s helpful to have a strong, realistic understanding of who your characters are so that they behave believably and consistently throughout your story. Knowing what might offend your character and why is a great place to start building their personality so that you can help it come through in your writing. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself about your character in this regard.
- What are three things that would make your character become disgusted with someone they loved (such as their mother or their spouse)?
- Throughout their life, when has your character been confronted with things or situations that lead them to feel offended?
- When your character has been offended, what deeper emotions were involved (anger, disrespect, disgust, fear)? Why did it matter so much to them what someone else said or did?
- When your character has been offended, what have they done about it? Did they organize a formal protest? Sit in their room and stew? Become violent?
- Do people around your character know what offends them and what doesn’t? How? Has the character openly voiced their opinions or have people been able to pick up on how they feel through obvious or subtle behaviors (word choice, avoidance, facial expressions, etc.)?
Answering these kinds of questions can help you more solidly understand your character so that your work reflects a realistic person reacting believably to the story as it unfolds.
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