Character Vs. Role, & How to Apply One to the Other

Reblogged from A Wordie Discovery.
Excellent description of Character and Role.
Please visit Wordie for more lessons in writing you didn’t know you needed!

 

A Wordie Discovery

There are two elements that make up every character ever – character and role.

Character refers to personality and nature, whereas role refers to the function and purpose that characters have in the grand scheme of things.

The two are of equal importance when crafting a literary character, and can be used to compliment or deflect each other in your writing.

For example, if you’re writing a suspense or mystery and do not wish to reveal who is the antagonist until toward the end of your story, you wouldn’t weave the antagonist’s vices and malicious intent into the literature in a way that blatantly exposes his/her role; not until you want to expose him/her. You would hide the antagonist’s purpose by masking his/her true character until a climactic confrontation is due, and you’d do that by sugar-coating the antagonist’s behavior and actions or completely keeping him/her out of the spotlight…

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