Character Types: Normal

Apr 16, 2014 by

Normal might sound like the easiest thing to write but it can be surprisingly difficult to get right.  See everyone’s different so normal is a very general term, and what you think of as normal could very well be a stereotype.

And now I went and made your job harder… don’t worry, I have tips to make it easier again.

Stick Figure

Normal is such a broad term so the first thing is to narrow it by asking normal to what? Because different groups have their own norm, for example what’s normal for the football team at a school could be completely different from what’s considered normal to the drama club.

If you focus too much on a character being strictly normal they won’t have much to them and could come across as one dimensional; focus on them having normal lives rather than them being normal people. The other key is to make sure they have normal problems; both of those things can make them relatable to a lot of people without them even being like them.

If your story takes place in a world you created there’s two useful reasons to have normal characters:

One is that no one’s going to know what the norm there is unless you show them; a few normal people, even if they’re only in one scene can reflect the views of the populus and can help readers understand your world.

Second is that if you only show the extraordinary people it might look like the norm for that world unless you show ordinary people for them to compare.

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