How to Create Multi-Dimensional Characters—Everybody Lies

Kristen Lamb knows how to make a writer pause. And think. She never fails to make me think. This time she’s delving into what makes a multi-dimensional character. No hero/heroine is always good and no antagonist is pure evil (although it’s fun to write them that way). If you’re struggling with your characters, give this blog post a thorough read. Then go over to her site and read more of her articles.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 9.47.12 AM Image via the award-winning show “House.”

Back in the Spring we started talking about ways to create multi-dimensional characters. Then I probably saw something shiny and, in case you are wondering? NO, I can’t catch the red dot. But I don’t give up easily 😀 .

It’s tempting for us to create “perfect” protagonists and “pure evil” antagonists, but that’s the stuff of cartoons, not great fiction. Every strength has an array of corresponding weaknesses, and when we understand these soft spots, generating conflict becomes easier. Understanding character arc becomes simpler. Plotting will fall into place with far less effort.

All stories are character-driven. Plot merely serves to change characters from a lowly protagonist into a hero….kicking and screaming along the way. Plot provides the crucible. 

One element that is critical to understand is this:

Everyone has Secrets

To quote Dr. Gregory House, Everybody lies.

All good stories hinge on…

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