What’s your character’s profession?

When we think about stories and the characters who inhabit those worlds, there is an aspect that some may think is secondary (or maybe even irrelevant), but that can actually affect the plot and character development: the characters’ profession.

The job a character has speaks of the interests, capacities, education, aspirations, and much more, of a character’s past, present, and even future.

A job (or lack thereof) can function as a plot device as well as an opportunity to present information about a character: someone may be unhappy (for different reasons) and looking for a change, or he/she/they may be fired, or there may be more challenges associated that can cause emotional, psychological and even existential consequences.

It’s very important to have knowledge about the profession that we choose to depict, otherwise an informed reader’s attention may be broken by disbelief. There are many online resources, and it’s key to check if the setting in any way affects the profession (and education or experience required).

Have you ever read any novels or stories that had professions incorrectly portrayed that bugged you? Do you have any professions you prefer to depict, regarding the impact they may have?

Moira Daly

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