Round Characters and Flat Characters in a Story

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Round character
Definition:
A round character is a major character in a work of fiction who encounters conflict and is changed by it. Round characters tend to be more fully developed and described than flat, or static, characters. If you think of the characters you most love in fiction, they probably seem as real to you as people you know in real life. This is a good sign that they are round characters. A writer employs a number of tools or elements to develop a character, making him or her round, including description and dialogue. A character's responses to conflict and his or her internal dialogue are also revelatory. How do you go about creating a round character rather than a flat one? Creating truly believable characters takes time and thought, of course; you can start by answering these questions about your main character. Also Known As: major character, main character, dynamic characters Examples:

Heathcliff, Anna Karenina, and Raskolnikov are all round characters from classic literature. We very quickly gain a sense of their emotions, motivations, and histories, though they are all very complex people. flat character

Definition: A flat character is a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as "two-dimensional characters" or "static characters," flat characters play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round. Though we don't generally strive to write flat characters, they are often necessary in a story, along with round characters. Take, for example, Mr. Collins in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. A flat character, he serves a vital role in the story of how Elizabeth and Darcy get together, and he provides comedy, but his character stays essentially unchanged. (In fact, that’s part of what makes him funny.) How do you go about creating round characters rather than flat ones? Creating complex, believable characters takes time and...
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