Dialogue: giving each character a unique voice

Giving a character a unique voice creates a vivid mental image of a person because speech is a form of characterization. Word choice, grammar, cursing and even silence, it all says something about the sort of person. Note: this goes for major characters only. It is not necessary to give a distinct voice to background characters or minor characters with only one or two speaking lines.

Creating the Threshold Guardian

Threshold guardians keep unworthy people from going through doorways and gates. They can be against the hero, indifferent to the hero or even allies but they will still always serve their purpose. No one goes onto the next stage before proven to be worthy. They can be thought of as bouncers, bodyguards or doorkeepers and represent ordinary obstacles people encounter in life such as prejudice, bad luck and opposition.

Creating the mentor

The mentor is the one who aids or trains the hero. They teach the hero, protect him and give him useful (often essential) gifts. The word comes from The Odyssey, in which a character named Mentor guides the hero. The mentor relationship often resembles that of a parent-child relationship. They are what the hero might become (and transcend) if he continued on the road of trails. They are the higher self, the wiser and nobler part of us.