Types of characters – An illustration with three faces, a blonde man with a mustache, a black woman with curly hair, and a man with glasses and beard.

Digital Marketing

Learn about the main types of characters for your videos

A good video narrative, be it an ad or an institutional video, needs good characters. Learn about the main types in this article.


09/03/2020 | By Hotmart

What will we see in this post

A video narrative is essentially a story. It uses classic elements, including different types of characters, conflicts and a solution. All of these elements serve to communicate a sequence of events, which must resonate with the viewer.

A narrative video must do exactly the same thing as in a text, but by using moving images. The entire narrative will be built around the characters’ experience.

Depending on the story you’re telling, you might want to focus on a single hero character, who will go through this narrative journey on their own, or with a cast of characters, who together, will solve the problem being narrated.

Use a script and images to personify this character. Also, make sure that he can strongly convey the emotions you want your story to tell.

In this article, we’re going to show you which types of characters you can use in building your video narrative. Learn more details about each type of character and check out how each one can fit into a well-constructed narrative.

But first of all, what is a character?

We can define a character as each supernatural or symbolic being, created by the author/writer/copywriter, and who, endowed with a life of their own, participate in the action of a literary or audiovisual work. 

Being a fictional representation of a being, with a certain acquired personality, the character has the capacity to act in a conflict situation, with a leading role; or, on the contrary, take on a secondary role, but who contributes with decisive ideas that resolve it.

Characters are placed in either an unreal or realistic world, and are at the same time subject to decisions, going through a cognitive process of compulsory choice.

Learn about each type of character

Characters are the icons that bring fictional fantasy to life.

For many writers, this is the most difficult point to imagine and to develop in a story. Many attribute this to the enormous difficulty in creating a life different from our own.

In order to get around this, you need to adopt points of view that sometimes have nothing to do with those of the writers. No matter whether it’s about opinions, values, feelings, emotions and thoughts, or simply about ways of seeing the world in general.

Characters are those mysterious creatures, and sometimes, completely foreign to our own consciousness. However, writers need to build them well, if they want to bring their stories to life.

After all, a story without the right types of characters ends up being an empty story without substance.

Sometimes, the characters aren’t even human, but without a doubt, they’ll always be accompanied by a human narrator, or at least human-like characteristics.

Can written work have no characters?

This rarely occurs. After all, each of the types of characters, for starters, is at the service of the story, while the authors are at the service of the characters.

If the characters don’t fit into the story, if they aren’t credible, if they don’t match the imagined conflicts, if they are insufficient, or if the protagonist or antagonist don’t reflect the theme being developed, in the narrative discourse, the story won’t move forward at all.

Below, we’ll describe the most characteristic types of characters in narratives. Types that are repeated and that fit into the story, in both classical literary novels and video narratives.

1. Protagonist

Protagonists are one of those types of characters on which the plot is centered.

They are the main character. The protagonist is the one who plays the main role in the story. 

They are the characters that capture the attention, being present in the entire story or in most of it. There is a greater profusion of them in terms of details, such as kindness, strength, courage, arrogance, etc.

Protagonists usually oppose an antagonist, or face several challenges that the plot put in their path, and usually being the focus of attention in the story.

2. False protagonist

False protagonists are one of the types of characters considered as a narrative resource that, although being born in literature, has been widely used in movies. 

He is called for any narration in which the plot seems to unfold around a certain character. However, at some point in the story, the action will take place with someone else.

This is the ideal method used to confuse the spectator, although it is usual to do it during the first moments of action; otherwise, it can be frustrating for the audience. Therefore, the time available for his development is very brief.

3. Co-protagonist

This type of character has the second-highest relevance in the story. They relate intimately with the protagonist and usually follow them in the journey.

Co-protagonism can be exercised by only one or more characters. They can also be used as narrators of the protagonist’s journey, as a resource to provide even more greatness to the protagonist’s journey.

4. Antagonist

An antagonist is usually a character, or group of characters, who opposes the story’s main character, the protagonist.

The antagonist can also be a force or institution, such as a government or large corporation, against which the protagonist must compete. 

Generally, the antagonist has the same or superior power than that of the protagonist, who must then strive to defeat him. In addition, these types of characters, in particular, usually present exactly opposite characteristics to the protagonist.

For example, if the protagonist of a story is poor and on the fringes of society, the antagonist will be rich and well connected.

5. Opponent

A true opponent competes with the protagonist and wants to prevent the hero from achieving his wish. The real goal is, and often remains hidden, but it is exactly what unites the two.

For example, a detective story is not about a detective’s wish to catch the killer, and the killer’s desire to escape. This is a superficial goal.

The real goal is the competition for the version of the “truth” that will become known. Will the killer be caught in any way? Will the right killer go to prison for the crime? Who will the audience think committed the crime?

The opponent must be necessary for the protagonist. He is the only person who can ruthlessly attack the main character’s weakness. Therefore, he must be as complex and valuable as the protagonist, and equally human.

It is possible to build a set of opponents who attack the protagonist’s greatest weakness in different ways.

Unlike the antagonist, the opponent is a temporary challenge in the protagonist’s journey, and not the final challenge.

6. Supporting character

Supporting characters are types of characters who are important in a subplot than the protagonists. However, at different moments, the supporting characters take action, make statements and interventions, and help in the plot’s consistency and development.

In this sense, when they appear or leave the plot, as well as their actions, they complement the actions of the main characters.

7. Minor character

Minor characters or extras have a merely illustrative function. In other words, they are types of characters who don’t relate directly, or at all, with the story, as well as with no other relevant character. They are merely used to fill out a scene.

Classification of characters

The author provides human content to the various types of characters, introducing them as living beings, capable of feeling emotions. As well as providing physical and psychological determinations.

The author is also who determines how they evolve during the story, how the reader discovers facets and aspects of the characters, through dialogue, their performance, and what others say about them.

This helps us understand how characters are classified and how authors use this division to give even more depth to their characters.

Check how character classification works.

a) Fictitious or fictional

Are those characters created and based on certain real people. In this case, the characters can be developed based on archetypes, stereotypes, or experience everyday stories, possible of happening to anyone.

b) Real or historical

Characters who exist or existed some time ago, in which the author seeks to faithfully reproduce their characteristics. For these characters, the author conducts in-depth historical research, in order to outline physical and psychological characteristics, which are faithful to reality.

c) Real-fictional

These are real characters, but that have certain personalities based on fiction, with distinct identities attributed to them by the author, for purposes of convenience within the development of the plot.

d) Fictional-fictional

These characters are completely fictitious, but having certain psychological and physical characteristics, which are only possible within the context of fiction. Thus, they are usually found in science fiction, horror, and fantasy.

Now that you have learned about all types of characters, as well as their classifications, it’s time to take a step forward in your video productions. So, click here and learn about all types of videos you can create for your strategy.