Category Archives: Characters

Writing from a Character’s Point of View

Here’s a quick tip to help your characters come off as real people. Perhaps the best way to instill real feelings in a character is to stand in his or her shoes and write from the character’s point of view. … Continue reading

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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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How to Motivate Your Main Character

You know, my partner Chris Huntley oft has said that the best way to rob a main character of motivation is to give him what he wants.  If you fill his need, he has no reason to go off and … Continue reading

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Do You Want To Write a Tale or a Story?

The difference between a tale and a story is that a tale is just a linear step by step progression through plot events and character growth in which the next step can be anything at all, as long it makes … Continue reading

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The Origin of Archetypes

Another excerpt from our book, Archetypes – Characters, Narrative and Mind – If archetypes represent basic human qualities, each assigned to a different character, then how would such a convention of story structure come to be? The answer lies in the manner … Continue reading

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Protagonist and Antagonist – Who Are They?

Protagonist tries to achieve the goal. Antagonist tries to stop him. That’s the simple answer, and it is true enough.  But there is a lot more to know about these two essential characters, and the more you learn, the more … 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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Character Dismissals

By Melanie Anne Phillips Over the course of the story, your reader/audience has come to know your characters and to feel for them. The story doesn’t end when your characters and their relationships reach a climax. Rather, the reader/audience will … 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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Writing with Heroes and Villains

If you are writing with only Heroes and Villains, you are limiting yourself. A Hero is a Main Character who is also a Protagonist. A Villain is an Obstacle Character who is also an Antagonist. What’s the difference between a … Continue reading

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