How to Write arrogant Characters Without sounding arrogant
Characters are an essential part of any story. They help set the scene and show the audience what is going on. A well-written character can go a long way toward making a reader want to turn the page and find out what happens next. However, creating characters that behave in ways that are unrealistic or offensive can be very difficult. Writing arrogant characters can be as simple as avoiding doing it. Here are some tips to help you keep your character arrogance under control:
Make your antagonist credible.
Most stories involve some degree of conflict between the main characters. Most stories involve a change in someone’s circumstance, whether it is the protagonist overcoming an obstacle or the antagonist being exposed for who they are. In these types of stories, the main character’s struggle is often with an antagonist. When conflict is introduced, the author has to make sure it is given credibility. When an author jumps into a story with a major character conflict and says, “Well, this is what happens,” it does not mean that the rest of the story will be nothing more than a retelling of the conflict.
The author is setting up the reader to expect a conflict and promises something more to come. Credible conflict is a conflict that has a reason, a cause, and an effect. Often, the conflict needs to be established early on in the story and then slowly stretched out over the course of the story. It could be something as simple as saying, “Chris and his friend Steve are planning on robbing a bank.” That is a cause, and the effect is that their plan goes wrong and they end up getting caught.
Be conscious of how you show and tell your story.
Most stories involve some form of characterization. When you are creating a character, you are composing their history, their lifestyle, and their goals. You are writing their biography, so to speak. It is important to remember that your characters are people, not just plot devices. People have feelings, and people react to situations in different ways. When you create a character, it is important to show them acting on their character. You need to make the audience feel something while watching your character react to the situation. You need to show your character being emotional, whether it is in the way they speak or their actions. You also need to make your characters look and feel the way that they are supposed to look and/or act. Some techniques for showing and telling your story include:
Point of view. Most stories have a POV that tells the story from one character’s point of view. It is important to remember that each character has a different point of view, and, therefore, a different experience from the audience.
Dialogue. Another important way to show and tell your story is through dialogue. The way that characters talk to each other is one of the most expressive parts of a story. It is one of the most important things that you can do to set up your story and make your characters distinctive.
Physical Description. Another way that you can create a character is through physical descriptions. Whether it is their height, weight, the color of their hair, or the way they walk, you can create a character through physical descriptions.
Chronology. Another way that you can tell your story is through the chronology of events. Start your story at the beginning and work your way backward in time. If your story takes place in the future, start it a few decades in the past and work your way backward in time.
Limit the arrogance in your characters.
Some of the most interesting characters are the ones that are the most self-centered. This is because we as readers want to feel something for these characters. If the reader feels nothing for these characters, then they are not going to care what happens to them. If the reader wants to turn the page and find out what happens next, then you have done your job well. There are ways to show your characters’ arrogance without actually saying it. They could be as simple as not showing it. Always remember that your characters are people, not plot devices. Make sure you show your characters’ frailties, not their weakness. Make them human.
Avoid overly dramatic or aggressive character arcs.
There is nothing wrong with having an over-the-top character in your story. They can be lovable, cuddly, or a complete enigma. There is, however, a difference between having a character that people can love and one that people want to hate. Overly dramatic characters usually have a cause for their angst. Tense, dramatic characters often let the author get away with things that the other characters would not. Angry, dramatic characters are often very difficult to write. They also tend to be short-lived, so you need to be careful with how often you add them to the story. You also don’t want to make your main character an overly dramatic one.
Show, don’t just tell.
As we have seen, there are a number of ways to avoid sounding as though you are boasting or trying to show off. There are a number of ways that you can keep your character’s behavior within the realm of reality. When you set up a plot, you need to make sure that it follows through. If the reader is going to be witnessing a major character change, then the change needs to be credible. In order for a change to be credible, it needs to have a reason, a cause, and an effect. The reason for the change needs to be based on some underlying theme in the story. For example, if the character is going to become an outlaw, then it would make sense for that to be the cause for their change in behavior.
Creating characters who are believable and within the realm of possibility can be a challenge. You need to be careful not to sound arrogant while doing this, though, because this can affect the whole story. To create a character that is both realistic and arrogant, avoid doing things that sound too good to be true, such as: Not using logic in your character designs. Not being conscious of how you show and tell your story. Not showing your main characters in the now. Being too dramatic or aggressive with character arcs. And last but not least, show, don’t just tell. Making your characters believable will help you make them more realistic and three-dimensional. This can then lead to more realistic characters in turn, and a more realistic story.
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