The Flat Character

Alright, everyone knows about protagonist, antagonist, and all those types of characters relative to their roles within a story, right?

Cool, what I’m about to share with you is something I’ve learned about characters relative to my favorite anime, Dragonball.

The Flat Character, The Positive Character, The Negative Character, The Antihero, The Villain, etc.

First, I’ll be starting with the Flat character.

Alright, the flat character is someone who believes the truth about themselves whether they be good or evil. This character has no internal conflict they need to overcome so they stay the same throughout the story. Most people see this character as being one-dimensional and boring, but this character does have the ability to evolve and mature; however, because they didn’t have to overcome an internal conflict to get to that point, their story seems pretty bland lest their story involves a lot of external action and adventure, which Goku’s does.

In my opinion, I think the flat character would be best suited to be the protagonist, but before we get to that, I’ll explain a little more about the Flat character.

The flat character can be positive or negative, they can be good or evil to the core but they can’t be both which would create internal conflict. Flat characters can also vary in their demeanor and mannerisms in regard to interacting with people and the world at large. Just because they’re flat doesn’t mean they don’t have emotions, that they can’t experience pain and suffering, it just means they handle everything in the same, consistent manner throughout a story whether they take it in stride or they muscle their way through it.

So, the next time you see a character who seems pretty much the same no matter what happens, just know it’s a flat character and you can play around with them just as much as any other character as a writer.

Now, why I think the flat character is the best protagonist. . .

The Flat character has the ability to change the world around them which makes it easy for the writer to tell the story relative to that character. When the flat character encounters antihero’s and villains and other characters, those changes the other characters go through associating with the flat character can be easily shown, therefore bringing the flat character’s ability to change the world around them to light.

The flat character also has the ability to show people that all their petty problems don’t matter, that there will always be something better ahead of the bad and something greater a head of the good. This character can be the one that makes things right and ensure everyone lives in harmony with each other, therefore making them an integral part of the story as a whole; so integral, in fact, they become the story itself.

Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .

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