The Different Kinds of Characters You’ll Find In Fiction

By on April 8, 2021

When writing a book, it’s important to have an engaging cast of characters that are unique, different from one another, and appealing to your target audience.

There are many types of characters that appear in fictional worlds and having a good idea of who they are and what they stand for can help you when it comes to determining the kinds of characters you might want to include in your book. 

Here is a list of the main types

Protagonist: The central character of your story. This character needs a lot of time and attention as they will be the one who you want your reader to connect with most. They need a detailed and believable backstory, they need an end goal, and they need a character arc that covers the entirety of the book. Your protagonist is who your audience will invest in the most, so it’s essential they are about them from the outset.

Antagonist: The antagonist is your protagonist's enemy. This doesn’t have to be in the typical sense though it can be) but the antagonist needs to be the character that creates the most problems for your hero. 

Love interest: Not all stories have a love interest element, but many do. The love interest is usually the character that the protagonist desires. Though they may not know they desire them at the start of your story. 

Confidant: The confidant acts as a special sidekick to your central character. They are who your protagonist will confide in and who they trust the most - whether they keep or betraying that trust is up to you!

Deuteragonists: These characters are no dissimilar to confidants as they are close to the protagonists and their storylines will intertwine with that of your central character but the main plot of your book will not correspond entirely with the deuteragonist’s own character arc.

Tertiary characters: These characters are the ‘fillers’ in your story. They live in the world, they have active parts, and they may influence the plot. However, it is not necessary for these characters to link to the main storyline. Their primary purpose is to fill out the world and make it more believable. 

Foil: A foil character acts as a highlighter for the protagonist's unique qualities. It is a character that’s so notably different from your central character that the stark contrast helps to make your protagonist's qualities really shine through.

These are the main kinds of characters you can expect to appear in a book. While you might not use all of them in any given story, having a thorough understanding of the purpose of each can help helpful. Which character types do you like to use in your stories? Can you think of any more? Leave your comments below!

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