Bringing a character into your story and introducing him or her to your readers can be a daunting task to think about. Though rest assured it's not that difficult once you get the ball rolling.
Introducing the Main characters
If you're writing a piece of prose fiction, you want to give a few details that will identify that character
This section of this article is about introducing your main characters (hero, protagonist, antagonist, villain, love interest, etc.)
Example: "The woman in the yellow trench coat.", "Dan always wore a cowboy hat".
Show don't tell. This should be a practice you adopt for your fiction. What that means is; instead of directly telling your reader what your character is doing. Here is an example of telling V.S. showing.
Mary opened the door. She hated Todd and now she had to be nice to him or she couldn't go on the big school trip.
Just as she predicted, there he was sitting in the back row on the left. Her legs felt like bricks as she made her way toward that no good snake.
Giving her best fake smile "Todd, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind -of course- make an exception and let me go to the museum on Friday with my friends?
Tom, grinding his teeth, approached the door. His legs felt like bricks as he turned the knob.
Notice the use of description in the showing example. "Grinding his teeth" lets us know Tom is not happy about something. Other descriptive words adds to this feeling of dread; grinding his teeth, legs felt like bricks, no good snake.
It is important when introducing your character to do the same. Your reader won't feel anything for him/her if they can't share in the experience with that character.
Having a long list of background information about your character even before the story begins is an easy way to lose your readers. You don't want to bog down your readers with a lot of extra information when they meet this character. Its better to give out details about your characters slowly.
Sometimes the information you want to let the readers know about your character is better off shown through an action. If your character is a pick pocket though his family doesn't know this about him, show him picking a ladies pocket at the playground while he is watching his son on the jungle gym.
Show with action.
Introducing Minor Characters
- Will the story be resolved if this character is not included?
- Does this character distract my readers from the important main characters and plot?