Today, we are going to be looking at round characters. Round characters are different than dynamic characters. Let’s start off with that definition I always give you:
Round Character: is a character that has a complex personality and have depth in their feelings and passions.
Here are some of their characteristics (as defined by literarydevices.net):
- Round characters are major characters in a story, who encounter contradictory situations, and undergo transformation during this phase. Therefore, these characters do not remain the same throughout the narrative, making their traits difficult to identify from beginning until the end.
- These characters are more realistic, their personalities somewhat inconsistent.
- They are fully developed and show complex traits, like real people.
- Round characters are also known as “main characters,” or “major characters,” because they are suitable to surprise the readers in a very convincing manner.
- Major characters must be round characters to be believable.
Now, doesn’t this sound like a lot about what I have been telling you for the past two months? These guys are the best type of character out there and they’re interesting. However, round characters sound similar to dynamic characters right? They are pretty similar and actually intersect a little bit.
The main difference is based in their definitions. Round characters, as stated above, are complex personalities. Dynamic characters, on the other hand, go through a change due to external/internal forces.
That’s the main difference. Plus you can find dynamic and round characters within the main character as you need a bit of both to make sure that your reader is interested in continuing to learn about what’s going to happen in your plot and to your character. Dynamic characters just like to change throughout the story. Your round character is going to be like talking to your friend or someone you know. In essence, they’re a real person.
So how do we write fantastic round characters?
- What I personally like to do, is take traits of my friends and family members and have a character adopt those traits. What is a better way to make a believable character then to take inspiration from the people around you. I have a friend who is sassy and over the top, but has your back when it gets down to the serious stuff, and I’ve made a character out of her. She’s interesting because she’s legitimately a real person – just re-imagined slightly.
- Interview your character. Get to him/her better. Ask them about their past, where they want to go in life, what their dreams are/their fears, what clothing they like to wear. What do they like to do when they go shopping or in their spare time and go on those adventures with them.
- Go through your characters stuff. What are you going to find? What is going to surprise you? What doesn’t? What are they hiding?
- How does your character change? They’re your main character and are like you and I. No one remains static over time and that’s no different for your character.
- Make sure they have an unique voice. They shouldn’t sound like every other character in your book. Your readers will pick up on things like speech patterns or phrases that they use.
That’s what I have for you on round characters today. Remember that they are not entirely separate then a dynamic character, but they’re not the same either. Here is a great summary by Round’n’RoundTheMulberryBush of the differences between the characters in Harry Potter – with an emphasis on dynamic and round characters. Most importantly though don’t forget to make your round characters real and lifelike.
Next week we will be talking about stock and flat characters.
Until next week.