How well should your characters know themselves?

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Who are your characters really? You might know. But should THEY? Who are your characters really? You might know. But should THEY?

Today I want to talk about an interesting facet of being human, one that can very much influence character development in our fiction and help make our characters–whether protagonists, antagonists, or supporting cast–feel more “real.”

The idea for this post came to me reflecting on one of my favorite prayers. I try to say it every morning (or at least most mornings.) It rings very true to me. I like this prayer because I know myself well enough to know that my greatest weakness are probably not what I think they are, nor do I really understand my strengths.

(That’s going to be the main point of this post, by the way: how well do we really know ourselves? How well do our characters? So bear with me.)

The prayer comes from Thomas Merton. The part of it that…

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