How do you write a changing character?



Hello there fellow writers,

So I’m trying to develop this one character and he goes from being cheery to depressed to being stoic.
In these transitioning phases of the character, how does one normally portray them? Like I can’t just say “xxx is depressed” or “xxx is happy”


Show it through his behaviour. Like, he no longer enjoys doing the things he once loved or has doubtful thoughts about certain things or people.


agree with above and word choices/descriptions play a part to. Ultimately, it’s through the actions and their reactions to their environment and people around them.

Example of MC being: “I can do this. I know I can.” MC pumps himself up, paying homage to Bruce Lee his idol and looks to his ribbons and shiny trophies for reassurance.
Example of MC being depressed: “Why don’t they appreciate me? Everyone hates me.” MC looks down to his feet feeling downcast. His room feels heavy, dull, empty and boring.
Example of MC being stoic. MC friends are hesitant to invite MC out to MickD’s for lunch. “He’s pretty quiet these days. Usually, he jumps to the invite but he coolly shooed me off. I don’t feel like I can talk to him anymore.” gossiped SC friend.

Excuse the bad writing. Hopefully, this helps a bit.:slightly_smiling_face:


Yup, they’ve given me a little bit of insight into character writing, however, what if I wanted to portray the character as having gotten over their depression but is still holding onto a bit of it. Like for example, they are as happy as they once was but not exactly the same


Showing it through the character’s thoughts is one way.

Nibbling at his bottom lip, he continued watching them.

I can do it. It won’t be so hard.

Will it?

The voice hissed in the back of his mind not for the first time that day. He curled his hands into tight fists then, sinking his nails into his palms until they hurt.

Shut up, he spat back. it’s different this time. I’m different this time.

Or something to this degree.


Is the character in question a POV character or not? If they are a POV character you can make it clear by the way they are thinking. If not you need to show it by their acting, the way they talk, their expressions. Discribe.


Definitely POV, the entire story (well most of it) is from POV


Ooo, I see I see :0


Give him magic features or powers that reflects his emotions and if this is set in reality then describe him acting differently like how he walks how he talks how his eyes look


Than you can easily show this by his changing thoughts and feelings. He will see the world differently and that is something you can bring in easily.


Got it, I’ll definitely need to work on that one


Well the character has powers, I was considering giving them less control over it when they are experiencing grief. Would that work?


yeah that works


my mc has to deal with a personification of his chronic depression that want to take over his body XD


Their behaviour, their thoughts. They can express themselves through their choices of art. Also, if his development is sequential, driven by certain events in his life, then dividing your book in parts and naming each accordingly with a mood epigraph, or a song or a picture will help the reader to see the transition as well.

Just remember that essentially they are still the same character.