Category Archives: Characters

This category covers characters from practical tips to psychological theory.

Browse through the articles or use the search box at the top of the page to find just what you are looking for, and may the Muse be with you!

Love Interests and the Dramatic Triangle

A lot of books about writing describe the importance of a “Love Interest.” Other books see a Love Interest as unnecessary and cliché. What does Dramatica Say? As with most dramatic concepts, Dramatica pulls away the storytelling to take a … Continue reading

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Love Interests and the Dramatic Triangle

The 8 Archetypal Characters

There are 8 essential archetypal characters, each of which represents a different aspect of our own minds. The Protagonist portrays our initiative, Antagonist our reticence to change.  Reason is our intellect, Emotion our passion.  Skeptic is our self-doubt, Sidekick our … Continue reading

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on The 8 Archetypal Characters

Throughlines and How to Use Them!

Some time ago I write an article that described the difference between the two basic forms of story structure with the following phrase: You spin a tale, but you weave a story. The common expression “spinning a yarn” conjures up … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Plot | Comments Off on Throughlines and How to Use Them!

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Writing from a Character’s Point of View

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Characters Who Carry Guilt

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Mentors, Guardians, Obstacles & Star Wars

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on How to Motivate Your Main Character

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Do You Want To Write a Tale or a Story?

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on The Origin of Archetypes

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

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on Protagonist and Antagonist – Who Are They?