Hey guys, SolZen here with another editorial.
Now everyone wants to write good stories, no doubt, but the key to a great story...great characters. Ask any award winning author or writer. But that's not always easy so hear are some points to help you.
- Consistent Behavior
- Character Growth
- A Good Backstory.
There is nothing worse than a character (or writer) that doesn't know what he's doing. In real life people who have wild changes in behavior or usually just strange or have some sort of mental condition. For everyone else, they have a personality that they stick to, traits, a certain behavior they are known for. If they do break this behavior it primarily signifies that something is wrong with them, both literary or emotionally.
Now I'm not asking you to sit down and work out the in-depths of each character's personality, but having a basic archetype for their behavior helps. Some would call it Cliche but it's only Cliche if you do nothing with it.
I personally used Cliches in doing Ultraman Orion, but then I thought about why, the characters were how they were and when I came up with an answer I came up with...
A Good Backstory
Stephan222 already did a blog on this, so I will just link it here .
Not every character needs this, that's why we have secondary characters, but your main characters and your story will benefit from this a great deal. A theme in Mebius was that each of the Ultra Brothers learned something from defending the Earth. Alot of the fan Ultras, like Orion, Zach and Sorta are also learning something from their stay on Earth, it may not be obvious to the reader but it's there.
Now this my sound contradictory to the first part, but character growth also means that your character's behavior will change. This can be gradual or the result of one major incident that made them rethink themselves and their beliefs.
These moments, how will the character react to them, some will fac them bravely others, once they know they are coming will want to run and hide, it all depends on the character the nature of the incident in question.
Now as I write this, I realize I have made a sort of mistake, Character Development would have been more accurate as characters can develop in the opposite direction, instead of becoming better they can become worse. Villains are not always evil for the sake of evil, some were good guys, but fell down a dark path due a certain incident(s). Take Belial, he was the comrade of Ultraman Ken (Father of Ultra) but having witnessed Alien Empera's power, the invasion of his home and being overlooked for position of Supreme Commander, the proud warrior made a bad choice that marked him for the rest of his life.
For all my dislike towards Belial and Zero, the two are good foils for each other, each made the same choice but when different directions.
Characters can even have shared Origins, Zoe and Orion, Ginga and Lugiel, both share the same backstory, both are foils for each other, they are nemesis, to the other side.