“Foils” in books and publishing are literary devices used to emphasize certain characteristics or traits in another character. Authors and writers frequently utilize foil characters in order to highlight particular strengths, weaknesses, motivations or beliefs of their protagonist; by juxtaposing two natures in such ways they hope to draw out each character’s features or understand why something developed as it did.
Foil characters often differ from main characters in personality traits and behaviors, physical appearance, social class status or values, etc. By providing readers with the contrast between their characteristics and beliefs and those of their main character, foil characters help readers better comprehend who the main character is while helping establish what messages or themes this main character wants to communicate.
An author could add an adversarial character who starkly contrasts their protagonist, such as someone intimidating or fearful, to emphasize how courageous your protagonist is by placing their qualities against those of an opposing force. Such contrast can demonstrate this feat! It shows readers just how brave your protagonist is!
Foils may include characters, settings, symbols, and plot developments as literary devices to add depth, complexity, and tension to narrative storylines.
Using foil characters is an indispensable aspect of literary works and publishing, helping characters develop while increasing our comprehension of them as individuals through contrast with other characters or elements in the storyline. It strengthens characterization while broadening our perspective by pitting their traits against one another within narrative structures.