Search Results for: characters

“Things” as Characters

 A writer asks: “My favorite creative writing book is ‘Setting’ by Jack Bickham. Use of setting as primary with characters, plot, theme, mood, etc derived from it and interacting with it seems of particular value in science fiction. Where would … Continue reading

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Writing Characters of the Opposite Sex

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 finally proves that men and … Continue reading

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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

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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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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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