Reply To: Lesson #3 Getting to Know Your Characters

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Main Character/Protagonist – Betty Lennox

Goal – To protect the people close to her, including her grandfather, from a dangerous con artist who will stop at nothing to take their powers, souls, or lives.

Motive – Witch Betty was unable to protect her own mother and grandmother from a demon attack five years ago, and they died because of it. Now, a con artist has targeted her grandpa and the tenants of her paranormal senior trailer park, and she must protect them.

Flaw – Although she cares deeply for these people, her main motivations are guilt and fear. Guilt for having not protected her mother and grandmother, and fear that she’s not strong enough to protect the people she loves.

Stakes – If she doesn’t overcome her own fear and guilt and take down the antagonist, she will lose her grandfather.

Then, use this template as a general guideline to piece it all together:

Betty needs to bring down the con artist psychic because he has targeted her grandfather and tenants, but she can’t get over her fear that the past is going to repeat itself and she’ll lose her grandfather the same way she lost her mother and grandmother. If Betty can’t overcome her guilt and fear to reach her goal, she will not only lose her grandfather, but she will lose all faith in herself.


Antagonist #1 – Herman Milner, aka Johnny Future, is a con artist psychic who targets paranormals, making dangerous deals in exchange for their power/soul/lifeforce to serve his boss, who is a demon.

Goal – To be powerful, to break free of the weakness of his past–being picked on, overlooked, used.

Motive – Overcome his perceived weakness. If he does what his boss says, he has been promised power beyond his wildest dreams. He’ll never be anyone’s doormat again.

Flaw – The “stronger” he becomes, the more he’s dependent on his boss. So, in essence, the “stronger” he gets, the weaker he actually is.

Stakes – If he fails to make enough “deals” he will die, or worse, be banished back to his old boring life, which Herman perceives as death.

Then, use this template as a general guideline to piece it all together:

Herman needs to trick paranormals for their power because he needs that power to please his demon boss and receive more, but the more he gets, the more dependent on his demon boss he is to control that power. If Herman doesn’t put an end to Betty hunting him down and stopping him, the demon will desert him and he will literally or figuratively die.

Note: Katie, thanks for this assignment! I always do GMC for my characters, but, for some reason, doing it again from scratch this morning triggered something in my brain and I solved a huge problem in my current MS. Thank you, and I would encourage everyone here to do this exercise even if you think you know your characters. It’s spooky-weird how well this worked for me. 😉


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