How To Introduce A Character - Our Top 7 Tips

How To Introduce A Character - Our Top 7 Tips

We always talk about how character development is extremely important for the story because it takes the story forward and many events in the novel are interlinked with your character’s development, especially in fiction writing. Also, without character development, your fiction books will have no arc.

But there is one fundamental question that many writers tend to ignore and that is: “How to  introduce a character in a book or story?” As simple as it sounds, there is more than one way to introduce your character, and using the right technique of character introduction is critical while creating a good story.

7 Effective Ways To Introduce A Character That Always Work

First impressions are extremely important. Sure, your character can just walk into the story and say, “Hello!” and that could be it. However, readers often disregard characters who are brought into the story with little-to-no effort by the writer. A strong character introduction helps your audience answer the following questions: 

  •       What kind of person is this character?
  •       What are their important attributes, good and bad?
  •       What are their motivations

We have come up with a list of ways to introduce your characters in a way that would make an immediate impression on the readers.  So, without any delay, let us get into seven different ways to introduce a new character.

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1. Let The Character Introduce Themselves Through A Monologue

A simple and common way to introduce a character is to let them walk up to other characters and introduce themselves. This method works when it’s accompanied by a powerful monologue. Stories that are narrated in the first-person POV are most likely to use this form of introduction.

However, you need your new character to deliver a memorable introductory speech that will immediately grab a reader’s attention. The character’s monologue needs to be concise because the readers are just being introduced to them and might not be interested in hearing a big speech right away.

Consider these iconic lines from the novel Princess Bride; “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”. It’s short, delivers the character’s motivation, and is extremely catchy.

Using this form of introduction – you can easily establish your character’s unique personality and tell the readers something about their background as well.

2. Build The Character Up Before They Join The Story

Another great way to introduce a character is with the help of other characters. Here, you show two characters conversing about a character that is yet to join a story. This way, you can easily point out the character’s personality, charisma and interests.

Such a technique would allow you to create interest in this person even before they start to play a role in your story. In “Great Gatsby”, the characters discuss Jay Gatsby in great detail before the titular character shows up. The writer was able to build intrigue around the character through this technique and made his eventual appearance extremely significant.

You can use this method to portray your character as an enigmatic and charismatic person, making them someone who’s often the center of attention but has mysterious traits and motivations.

3. Present The Character With A Memorable Description

Visually describing your character’s appearance is a common way to introduce a character.  In this technique, the author uses the power of words to create a vivid picture of the character and shares their physical traits and mannerisms with the readers.

You can write about a character having a scar on their face, wearing torn clothes, or frequently scratching their head. All these details allow readers to create an image of this individual in their minds.

In the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling introduced each character at Hogwarts by describing their physical appearance. Dumbledore’s long beard and Sirius Black’s height and black hair were mentioned when these characters were first introduced.

4. Reveal The Character During An Important Moment

Introducing your character during an important point in the story not only sets the stake higher but also creates a conflict for your character in the coming chapters. 

In this introduction strategy, you bring an individual either as a savior or someone that makes the problems worse for your protagonist.

You can further explore the choice this character made at the moment and how it impacted them along with everyone else in the story.  The decision of your character can create more conflicts and also allow readers to understand their motivations and personal attributes.

For instance, Professor Remus Lupin was introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Azkaban when Harry was facing off against Dementors. You can make a character an instant fan favorite through this technique.

5. Introduce Them Through Another Character

Writers often use other established characters to introduce new personalities. However, it’s important to create a clear introduction that lets the readers instantly connect with the character. Your words must convey to the readers what role this new character will be playing in the story.

In this scenario, you would want the other character to not just highlight the physical appearance of this new individual but also give some insights into their psychological and emotional traits.

For instance, in the novel “The Secret Garden”, Martha, a chambermaid introduces her brother to a character named Mary Lennox. Martha talks about her brother’s love for nature and his unique ability to communicate with animals. 

Such an introduction lets the reader quickly figure out the character’s personality and develop an interest in them.

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6. Introduce The Character Through Their Actions

Sometimes actions speak louder than words in stories. Having a character perform a particular action allows you to introduce them in a way that’s unique and memorable. It also allows the readers to easily understand the character’s personality and sometimes, his motives.

Such an introduction often requires little-to-no dialogue but gives your readers a deep insight into the individual.

In the novel, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin, the character of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is first observed dancing in a ball. His refined manner and skill on the dance floor establish him as an elegant character. Readers also learn of his enigmatic nature as he doesn’t engage in any conversation during this scene. 

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7. Create A Riveting Backstory For Your Character

Last but not least, you can use a backstory to build an instant connection between readers and a new character. A character’s backstory tells a lot about their feelings, inner struggles, life experience, personal history, and their motivation.

Your character’s backstory will clearly portray what they can do and how their personality has transformed. Backstories create empathy for the characters and allow readers to understand their actions – even if they are of evil nature.

The character of Boo Radley in the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird”, is introduced through multiple backstories, with only a few rumors turning out to be true. Finding out the exact origin of this character allows readers to understand his true motives. Backstories are incredibly effective in connecting readers with characters in a novel.

Wanna Go To The Basics? Read Our Blog On How To Develop A Character For Your Fiction Novel

Hire A Professional For Your Character Introduction

Characters take the story forward, they keep the audience immersed and sometimes become bigger than the story itself. For this reason, you must introduce them in a way that’s unique, memorable and impactful.

If you think that your character introduction is not as powerful as it needs to be, you can always reach out to professionals for help. Hancock Ghostwriters holds great expertise in writing books and crafting strong characters that will leave a memorable first impression on the readers.

Wrapping Up

It’s important to remember that a character introduction does not have to be grand and loud all the time. Sometimes, it can be as simple as someone walking into the room, waving and leaving the next moment.

However, you need to add some key elements to make this character memorable for the readers. If there is still any confusion or if you need help writing a story, you can always contact our professional writing team.

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