Literary String Theory Part 1: Multidimensional Characters

Hannah Sandoval, Author

Literary String Theory (Part 1)_ Multidimensional Characters

Do you fall in love with characters first, or the plot? Characterization has always been my favorite part of reading and writing. A great plot is dulled if I don’t care about the characters undergoing the plot’s hardships.

But what makes a phenomenal character like Hermione Granger or Atticus Finch? What does a writer pour into a character that causes you to carry that fictional person with you through life?

I propose there are three major elements: dimension, conflict, and empathy. In this post, I’m going to talk about dimension. That’s the term you’ll hear most frequently in critique groups, college creative writing courses, etc. “Your character needs more dimension.” “I love your heroine; she’s so three dimensional.”

To write dimensional characters, you must understand people. Plain and simple. Creating dimension means walking away from archetypes. It’s about making your character feel real. Real enough for your reader to want…

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