Category Archives: Characters

Forget Your Protagonist – Who’s Your Main Character?

For just about any story you read, you get a sense of who it revolves around – who is it really about? Who is the character whose shoes we stand in, through whose eyes and heart do we see and … Continue reading

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What Drives Your Main Character?

A story begins when the Main Character is stuck up in the highest level of justification. Nobody gets there because they are stupid or mean. They get there because their unique life experience has brought them repeated exposures to what … Continue reading

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Have Your Characters Write Their Own Life Stories

For your characters to be compelling, your readers will need to think of them as real people, not just dramatic functionaries or collections of traits. To help make this happen, have each of your characters write a short one-page autobiographical … Continue reading

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Character Likes and Dislikes

“Snakes… Why did it have to be snakes….???” What a character likes and dislikes takes the curse of its larger than life stature. Whether you are writing a novel, play, screenplay, or teleplay, your characters loom in the hearts and … Continue reading

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The Hero Breaks Down

Groucho Marx once said, “You’re headed for a nervous breakdown. Why don’t you pull yourself to pieces?” That, in fact, is what we’re going to do to our hero. Now many writers focus on a Hero and a Villain as … Continue reading

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How To Create Archetypal Characters

Archetypal characters have a bad name.  Many writers think such characters are two-dimensional stick figures that come off more like plot robots than real people.  But the truth is that archetypes represent essential human qualities that need to be explored … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name?  Choosing names for your characters can be perfunctory or can provide your readers or audience with insight into your characters’ natures, add humor or surprise, or even at the very least break out of ordinary monikers … Continue reading

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How to Avoid Stereotypes

Coming up with characters can be as simple as looking to our subject matter and asking ourselves who might be expected to be involved.  But that only creates the expected characters – predictable and uninteresting. Building characters that are intriguing, … Continue reading

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Character Change vs. Character Growth

Main characters don’t have to change to grow.  They can grow in their resolve. It is a common misconception among authors that the main character in a story must change in order to grow.  Certainly, that is one kind of … Continue reading

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A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 3

Archetypes are the spine of any story, whether you use them in a monolithic manner or sculpt them into more complex variations.  Understanding archetypes will help you to ensure your structure is human and complete. In part 1 of this … Continue reading

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