Category Archives: Character

Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: In our own stories

We’re looking at the wants, needs, flaws, and symptoms of main characters this week.  Let’s get to our own: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Own Work Friday

Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: How the masters do it

We’re looking at how the masters give their characters emotional wants and needs and character flaws.  Here’s what I’ve seen in the stories I’ve read lately: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Story Master Wednesday

Character: Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms

This week’s tool pulls together what we’ve learned from other tools (concept and theme) and teases out how those tools apply to, and build, a character.  Julie Gray calls it Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms, and I think that’s catchy, if not entirely illuminative, so there you have it. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Monday Tool Day

Backstory: Let’s See What You’ve Got

We’re looking at backstory this week.  Let’s see if we can come up with some backstory to support the irreconcilable selves of the main characters of the one-liners we’re developing. Continue reading

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Backstory: How the Masters Use It

Usually when backstory is effectively used, you don’t notice it.  It’s often “marbled” in with the front story, as James Scott Bell says.  Still, here are some examples of backstory that I have noticed (or remembered): Continue reading

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Backstory: What Is It?

Now that our characters have irreconcilable conflict, it’s time to support how they got that way with backstory. Continue reading

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Walking Contradictions: Show us what you’ve got!

Walking contradictions are characters who have some kind of irreconcilable conflict, either internal or external or a combination thereof.  Let’s see if we can develop some irreconcilable conflict for the main characters of the one-liners we’ve got going: Continue reading

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Walking Contradictions: How the Masters Do It

We’re looking at how to make our characters more interesting by giving them lots of irreconcilable conflict.  Here are some examples I’ve noticed in the stories I’ve read or watched recently.  As usual, I will add more examples as I come across them in my readings.  For now… Continue reading

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The Irreconcilable Self: Creating character paradoxes

This week we’re looking at how to infuse our characters with irreconcilable conflict and make them, as Paula Munier says, “walking contradictions.” Continue reading

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Clones: Let’s See What You’ve Got!

Clones, or mirror characters, reflection characters, variation-on-theme characters, are characters who highlight, through comparison and contrast, aspects–especially thematic aspects and stakes–of the main character.  Let’s see if we can develop some clones for a couple of the one-liners we’ve got going: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Own Work Friday, theme