The Character at Home

The Ordinary World - Household

The character’s home is often the main setting of the Ordinary World, and the environment in which the reader first encounters them. The people the character lives with at the beginning of the story not only help shape the character, they also help create the Stasis (beginning) state and the Resolution (end) state that define the character’s development arc, and also set the story in motion.


The character’s cohabitants may be their family, a team, a crew, or any other group of people they’ve fallen in with. For more guidance on this subject, you may like to read the sections titled, ‘How to Generate the Supporting Cast’, and ‘How to Create Character Groups: Teams, Crews, Families & Pantheons’ in How to Be the Heroine of Your Own Story.

Tips for Using this Worksheet

  1. As with last week’s Protagonist / Antagonist worksheet, you can use the character to brainstorm the rest of the household, or vice versa.
  2. When answering the questions, try to keep in mind what the plot requires of the character and of the people they live with. For example, to answer a question like, “What do they need to allow each other to do?” consider what actions the character needs to perform in the story…
    1. Do they need to be allowed to miss meals?
    2. Do they need to be allowed to bring strangers home?
    3. Do they need to be allowed privacy?
  3. You may want to consider the household as a whole, or to choose one or two representatives to study.
  4. If the character lives alone, you may nevertheless like to consider their neighbours, or a part of their backstory during which they did live with others.

How to Create a Difficult Antagonist with Ease