Category Archives: Characters

Mentors, Guardians, Obstacles & Star Wars

Here’s an unusual situation where both Chris and myself independently answered the same question from a writer. Comparing our two replies is both interesting and also sheds light on two different ways of looking at the same central story structure … 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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The Main Character and Duality

Consider the Main Character and the Influence Character who, it would seem at first blush, are as opposite as they can be in regard to  some underlying philosophical perspective, world view, belief system or moral code. But in fact, they are … Continue reading

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The 8 Archetypes

From my “classic” 1999 video series on story structure: Part 20: The 8 Archetypes

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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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The Main Character’s Problem

This is the nature of the Main Character’s struggle in a story. He has either built up an understanding of how to try and solve problems that no longer fits, or he has built up an understanding of what causes … Continue reading

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The Influence Character

By Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley There is one special character who represents the argument for an alternative point of view to that of the Main Character. This character, who spends the entire story making the case for change, … Continue reading

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Only One Main Character in a Story

By Melanie Anne Phillips There’s only one main character in a story.  Why?  Because a story is about the group experience of trying to achieve a goal.  When people come together around a common issue in the real world, they … Continue reading

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Archetypes vs. Stereotypes

By Melanie Anne Phillips Archetypes, by definition, are characters defined by their plot function, such as the protagonist, who is trying to achieve a goal, and the antagonist who is trying to stop him. All of the archetypes have a … Continue reading

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Protagonist v Antagonist

By Melanie Anne Phillips Some years ago, I wrote the following article describing the differences between the protagonist and antagonist archetypes.  Pretty good stuff – BUT…  Like any reasonably good teacher, I keep on learning – maybe not so much … Continue reading

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