How to create a round character in geography-based fiction


Geography-based fiction involves the use of geographical settings and elements to create a compelling story. It is a genre that allows writers to not only transport their readers to new and exotic locations, but also explore different social, cultural, and environmental issues through the lens of geography. In order to truly captivate readers, it is important for geography-based fiction to have well-developed characters. One key type of character to include in this genre is the round character – a character that is multidimensional, complex, and ultimately realistic. In this article, we will look at how to create a round character in geography-based fiction, with practical examples to guide us.

What is a Round Character?

A round character is a literary term used to describe a character with multiple layers, complexities, and contradictions. They are depicted as realistic and relatable, making them more human-like and interesting to readers. Round characters are not one-dimensional; they have both strengths and flaws, making them more dynamic and able to grow and change throughout the story. In geography-based fiction, creating a round character is essential as it enables readers to connect with the character and the story on a deeper level.

Steps to Create a Round Character in Geography-Based Fiction

Step 1: Establish the Character’s Background and Motivations
The first step in creating a round character is to develop a clear understanding of their background and motivations. This includes their personal history, their upbringing, and the events or experiences that have shaped them into who they are. In geography-based fiction, a character’s geographical setting can greatly influence their personality, beliefs, and motivations. For example, a character growing up in a harsh environment like the Arctic tundra may have a tough and resilient personality, while someone from a tropical rainforest may have a more laid-back attitude towards life.

Step 2: Give the Character Strengths and Flaws
A round character should not be perfect; they should have both strengths and flaws. This makes them more realistic and relatable to readers. Flaws can be physical, emotional, or mental, and they can add depth and complexity to the character. In contrast, strengths can make a character admirable and inspire readers. An example of a round character with both strengths and flaws can be seen in the protagonist of “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. Santiago, the old fisherman, is strong and determined, but also stubborn and prideful.

Step 3: Show How the Character Changes and Grows
Round characters should go through a journey of growth and development in the story. This can be achieved by depicting how they learn, adapt, and evolve through obstacles and challenges. In geography-based fiction, a character’s geographical setting can serve as a catalyst for change. For instance, a character living in an impoverished community may begin with a self-serving outlook, but after witnessing the resilience and kindness of the people around them, they may have a change of heart and become more selfless.

Step 4: Use Dialogue and Interaction to Reveal Personality
Dialogue and interaction between characters are powerful tools in revealing a round character’s personality. Using well-crafted dialogue can showcase a character’s emotions, attitudes, and beliefs. In geography-based fiction, the use of dialect or slang specific to a particular geographical setting can further enrich a character’s voice and make them more authentic.

Step 5: Avoid Stereotypes
When creating a round character, it is crucial to avoid using stereotypes, especially when depicting characters from different cultures or backgrounds. Stereotypes are oversimplified and often offensive representations that do not accurately reflect real people. In geography-based fiction, it is important to do thorough research and strive for diversity and inclusivity in character development.

Examples of Round Characters in Geography-Based Fiction
1. Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. Katniss, a strong and resourceful young woman from the impoverished District 12, goes through a journey of growth and resilience as she fights for survival in the brutal Hunger Games.

2. Piscine Molitor Patel from “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. Piscine, also known as Pi, is a young boy who survives a shipwreck and is stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. His experiences at sea test his faith and ultimately change him as a person.

3. Kya from “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Kya, also known as the Marsh Girl, is a young woman who grew up in the marshlands of North Carolina and has a deep connection with nature. She faces isolation and prejudice, but her journey of self-discovery and determination makes her a strong and resilient character.

In conclusion, creating a round character in geography-based fiction requires a deep understanding of the character’s background and motivations, giving them strengths and flaws, depicting their growth and evolution, using dialogue and interaction to reveal their personality, and avoiding stereotypes. By utilizing these steps and incorporating them into practical examples, writers can create multidimensional and relatable characters that will enhance the overall quality of their geography-based fiction.