What makes a character "well written" is there like a set criteria or is it subjective?

What makes a character "well written" is there like a set criteria or is it subjective?

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if you are saying "this character is cool", or "this character is cute", these are claims regarding your feelings about a character, right? these would be subjective. to claim a character is "well written" would be to judge them against some writing standard, so not subjective. you are arguing about your interpretation of a character though, so to make a convincing argument that a character is "well written" you should lay out a good standard of what it means for a character to be well written, point to how your character meets their standard, and make sure their is nothing in the story which contradicts your character meeting the standard. the quality of the standard you point to and how well you show that your character meets that standard will determine whether or not you have meaningfully claimed that a character is well written

i think

Good points I agree with what you said especially regarding the subjective part as for the rest is what Im trying to understand is what is the "standard" for example if a character is consistent in their behavior and personality and has a certain goal they want to accomplish is this good character writing?

>What makes a character "well written"
when I like them

It depends on what they're trying to achieve. It's ok to change their behaviour, in fact it might even be preferable throughout the story. With that being said, first impressions are important so they can't just have stupid goals or be unlikeable. But that's where it gets subjective I guess.

if you have to ask
you’re too autistic to ever grasp it

Standards all depend on the story. A well written character for a fantasy book vs one for something set during a real period of time would be different. Generally though a base standard is about the characters behaviour, decision making and other things related to the character that are told to you the reader throughout the book, we'd call this "characterisation" as the decision making, their thought process, how they carry themselves, what they wear, etc... would fit into that fantasy or real life time period setting. Characterisation also relies on other things in books like setting, key moments, etc... but generally that's all added up to the sum of the book each subject also adds to each other, good characterisation will have a good setting, a good setting will allow for good key moments and so on.

Ignore anons like this that put you down it's never too late to learn stuff like this.

Hmm there has to be a good reason for the character to change their behavior though it can't just happen suddenly I feel like that would ruin the character.
Thank you this explanation is satisfying enough so the other elements in the book complements good character writing in that case I have a question do you think comparing different characters from different books fair? like "This character is more well written than this" since it all depends on what kind of story the character is in.

>What makes a character "well written"
he has sex

Is what they're doing or thinking make sense from where they are coming from?
Characters can have contradictions but they should be few and far in between.
A girl who is who is a super model who is also a hardcore otaku should have an explanation for such a juxtaposition, otherwise it will be seen as a gimmick with no sense of reason.

An otaku who likes video games is not too far off the mark because it's seen in real life and believable but also having him be a marathon runner can work but give reasons as to why he deviate from the norm. A simple explanation as him worrying about his health eventually led him to becoming a marathon runner is plausable and within the realm of reality and adds some depth to his character if it leads to more deviation from the norm (he also avoids junk food, etc.)
It's just a simple example.
There can be a pilot who experiences PTSD because he saw his mom get killed in an raid. It can motivate his future goals or even down the line make him even more extremist than the attackers that killed her.


I feel like a character is well-written if their behavior and development makes sense in terms of the logic and setting of the series. I think Griffith is a good example of a well-written character because even if we think what he did was evil, we still understand where he came from and why he did it.

>What makes a character "well written" is there like a set criteria or is it subjective?

Characters that are well written are those that behave with a certain degree of consistency according to their established features, and move the story forward in a manner that is fitting to their role and the style of the story.

The main character being a goofball that takes nothing seriously can be good fun in a comedy show, but in a military-based anime he not only detracts from the serious atmosphere of the story, but wastes time. On the other hand, the exact same character appearing in the first ten minutes as a secondary character, joking around before being blown apart, can serve a good purpose.

Conversely, an extremely serious dude who doesn´t take shit can be good main character for a war story, but doesn´t fit into a comedy... unless the scenario involves making his seriousness the butt of the joke.

In both cases, if the character is not consistent, the viewers can´t "know them", making it more difficult to "read them" and empathize or relate to them.

Define what a "well writen" means in the first place, else you'll just have armchair scholar here babbling shits they don't really understand or just copy paste shits they though sound cool.

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a character is well written when he reflects what the author wanted him to be in a believable way. If he is a douche, shy, kind-hearted, autistic or whatever, he should be portrayed as such and not become something else without further explanation, like something happening to him changing his views and behavior. Doing this successfully will usually define a good character progression.

If the books are similar enough yeah you can do a direct comparison. You can also compare characters from totally different books and how they fit in their book compared to each other but at that point your comparing the skill of the author to write a character into their own book.

there's no trick to it
if there was everybody would do it

Cringe and lame, you'd make a boring story.
A good character is good when he doesn't act cliche-ly when put in an ambiguous situation and shows off different, maybe even contradictory parts of his personality in the narration. A well written character has to be a bit egocentric but only show it when it matters to put himself above the rest

Just give them focus and flesh them out a bit. Most anime has a fuck ton of characters and most of them only get like 1-2 character traits and end up 1-dimensional because the author has to juggle a dozen recurring side characters. If there's an actual fleshed-out character they will stand out a lot.

Nta but you might be mixing "good" with "standout". A good character doesn't need to be quirky or egocentric, but it certainly helps. One of the reasons villains and psychopaths are popular is specifically because of this. They pop because their way of thinking is so different from the norm.

Most people define well written as "fleshed out character that I liked".

I've seen people refer to characters with consistent characterization, a clear motivation with a backstory that explains it, many positive traits with a few believable flaws as a "badly written character" because of stupid reasons like "they showed incompetence" or " they acted in a way I don't agree with" or " they're annoying".

There's no set criteria