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: Andy Weir’s The Martian Character: an astronaut abandoned on Mars. General Want: to survive Specific External Goal: to modify the resources that were supposed to last six people thirty-or-so days so … Continue reading Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: How the masters do it
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. 1. Our human-rights-attorney story: When the money runs out before the case against his transgender partner is over, a human rights lawyer joins a prestigious and wealthy law firm … Continue reading Backstory: Let’s See What You’ve Got
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): Cheryl Strayed's Wild In this story, a girl goes on a hike as a way to deal with her mother's death. … Continue reading Backstory: How the Masters Use It
Now that our characters have irreconcilable conflict, it’s time to support how they got that way with backstory. WHAT’S BACKSTORY? The masters provide tons of definitions of "backstory." Here’s a sampling: "The backstory is everything that took place before you started page 1," says Jack M. Bickham. "Backstory refers to any essential information about the characters … Continue reading Backstory: What Is It?