Every story you tell needs to have characters in it. It's impossible to tell a story without characters. If you do, it's not a story, it's an explanation or an instruction. Remember, stories are meant to capture and lead the imagination of other people! And the way that happens is to have them identify with a character in your story so that they can experience the emotions you want them to.

The characters in your story can be broken down like this:

1. Main Character

2. Supporting Characters

Every story needs a main character, something which the action of the story centers around. The best main character for your own stories is YOU.

Remember, people experience emotion and feelings vicariously through your main characters. When you are the main character in your story, they will associate all the feelings and emotions they experience TO you!

So you want to make sure those emotions are good ones. Don't make yourself out to be stupid, or mean, or evil, because people will associate whatever you let them experience with you. If you want to make a point about someone being stupid or mean, use someone you don't like as an example so those emotions and feelings are associated with them and not you.

The main character is the person the action centers around. They'll be the ones who drive your story forward from point A to point B.

A main character must be ACTIVE in your story.

If you tell a story about how you witnessed a guy fight three men by himself, you're not the main character of that story because you weren't the one fighting! The guy who took on the three men is the main character, because it's his actions the story is centering around.


Supporting characters is everyone else that populates your story. They interact, support, hinder, or fight against the main character. They can be your friends, your enemies, your lovers, or strangers you meet on the street. It doesn't matter. If they're not a main character, they're supporting characters.

When you're telling a story to someone, try to keep the number of supporting characters low, because you don't want them to have to remember the names of everyone you're talking about. Two to three supporting characters in a story is sufficient. Any more than that, and you may be pushing the limits of your audience's memory.

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