Just as stories are the brainchild of the one who wrote them, so good characters are reflections of some facet of the writer who brings them to life.

Characters Development Dig DeepA truly well-rounded character cannot exist unless the person who crafts them digs deep and exposes some part of themselves. Unless they do, the result is a flat, two-dimensional character that has no room to learn, develop, and grow.

The more fleshed out this character becomes, the more realistic they seem, and the more we can project ourselves onto them. All audiences do this. This is what films are about, after all: a chance to step out of our own lives and become part of another’s.

This is also the reason as to why we care so much about what happens to a bonded character: why we don’t like to see them hurt, humiliated, or killed. Whether we are the writer who created them, or the audience watching the finished product on a screen, good characters cease to become independent beings with lives of their own.

They become a projected aspect of ourselves, instead. It is irrelevant as to what sort of protagonist becomes depicted on the screen, be it a mafia type or a quiet librarian.

Once we find something to identify with, we’re stuck. As such, it is tempting for writers to protect their characters, and to shield them from unpleasant circumstances. Such would be a mistake, however, for without such unpleasantness, those characters cannot grow, and there would be no story to tell.