One of the basic traits of a character is their depth
, or how complex they are. Some characters are two-dimensional Flat Characters
, with one or a few defining traits that (at a glance) completely define who they are. Some are more complex and have Hidden Depths
compared to their flat counterparts. Rounded Characters go beyond being a stock character
with some Back Story
and Hidden Depths
. They generally have a complex motivation driving them, and may act counter to what their 'type' would suggest. These are the kind of character that have to struggle with choice.
Now, this is not to say that they're the best character type
, or that any author who does not have a full cast of Rounded Characters is a hack. It would be nigh impossible to write a story with a sprawling cast of fully fleshed out characters, the audience just couldn't take it
! So instead of making them deep and rounded, it's a good idea to simply paint them well as decoration for a scene. George RR Martin
did a great job at making each and every one of his characters feel real, although not all of them were that rounded. That's why this kind of character is usually reserved for the main cast and their antagonists in Character Calculus
, and even then, some protagonists don't need much characterization.
A flat character
may evolve into a three-dimensional character if they are dynamic
, and change according to what they experience. On the other hand, sometimes they don't (need to) change and remain Static Characters
Not to be confused with Buxom Is Better
, Waddling Head
, Hartman Hips
, High Fat Index
, Be the Ball
, or any other type of rounded character.