It only stands to reason that the characters in your story are essential. For the most part, whether you are writing a short story or a novel, there are always going to be a protagonist, the Main Character, and the antagonist – the biggest problem in your MC’s existence.
And while these two elements are important for you and the story, it is critical that your reader truly care about what happens to these two entities. The roles of your characters work hand in hand with the plot line to tell an engaging story.
Basically, after you’ve introduced the MC, the antagonist and their purpose should be introduced. The antagonist is at the heart of the inciting incident. I touched on this in Friday’s blog, and I imagine you may be asking yourself: ‘What is this inciting incident?’
The inciting incident in any short story or book is the thing that blows up your MC’s everyday life. It ‘happens,’ and turns the world upside down for your protagonist. It is this event that sets the main character on their quest – with the quest being the purpose for your story.
Usually, and most likely, the antagonist is at the epicenter of the inciting incident. The antagonist could be a person, or it may be something seemingly mundane, like the weather. In short, the role of the antagonist is trouble.
In a longer story or novel, there are usually supporting characters. While they are not quite as substantial or important to the plot, they help define the protagonist and antagonist. Their purpose is to enhance the layers of your story.
The writer must make the reader CARE about what happens to the characters. If your characters are not relatable, or strong enough, the reader will lose interest.