Search Results for: characters

Characters Who Carry Guilt

In the classes I teach on story structure we often point to Clarice Starling (Jody Foster) in “Silence of the Lambs” as a great example of a Success/Bad story in which the goal (save the senator’s daughter from Buffalo Bill) … Continue reading

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Characters: Lost In Their Own Spotlight

True of people; true of characters: When hit with great personal grief, how many of us stop to think about how all those around us are coping – especially those whose approach to life is to keep it all inside? … Continue reading

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Characters and Contextual Retribution

The minds of characters work very much like our own. People think both in terms of time and of space.  Our time sense gives us the ability to predict what is likely to happen next.  Our space sense gives us … Continue reading

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Get Into Your Characters’ Heads

One of the most powerful opportunities of the novel format is the ability to describe what a character is thinking. In movies or stage plays (with exceptions) you must show what the character is thinking through action and/or dialog. But … Continue reading

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al Awlaki, the “Uncanny Valley” and Writing Empathetic Characters

Here’s an article about real world narrative I published shortly after al Awlaki, an American recruiter for terrorism, was killed in a raid: Recently, al Awlaki (the infamous “American” Al Qaeda) was killed by American forces. He was viewed as … Continue reading

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Characters and Gender

Perhaps the most fundamental error made by authors, whether novice or experienced, is that all their characters, male and female, tend to reflect the gender of the author. This is hardly surprising, since recent research indicates that men and women use … Continue reading

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Why Characters Misunderstand Each Other

This article was originally written as part of an early draft of our book on the Dramatica theory of narrative which was never published.  It seeks to describe how characters come to misunderstand each other, and how this can lead to conflict. I’m … Continue reading

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Introducing Characters: First Impressions

By Melanie Anne Phillips When your reader/audience first meets your characters in a story, it has the same effects as when you are introduced to someone in real life. First impressions have a tremendous impact that you can use either … Continue reading

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How Characters Avoid Truth

It is well known that the observer changes the observation, but it is equally true that the observation also changes the observer. Consider that the order in which you observe a series of perspectives changes you as you go. But because … Continue reading

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What Drives Characters?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Justification is the tangled up knot of experiences that creates both understanding and misconception.  Like a ball of snarled rubber bands, it also holds a lot of potential, and if something starts to cut into it, … Continue reading

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