Story Hack

Dramatizing Characters

Film Crit Hulk is awesome. If you can get past the ALL-CAPS SHOUTING, then you’ll read some of the best storytelling advice on the internet. For instance, I was blown away by this recent post:

THE IMPORTANCE OF DRAMATIZING CHARACTER

My Favorite Takeaway, aka TL;DR

For every major character in your story, you should know (and your reader, too) the answers to the following 7 questions:

  1. What does this character want?
  2. What does this character need?
  3. How do those wants and needs conflict with each other within the character?
  4. How do they conflict with the outside world?
  5. How do they conflict with other characters?
  6. How does the character change through those conflicts and how does the resolution affect them?
  7. What impact does that change have on everyone else?

You start your story by showing the reader the answers to the first two questions early on. That way your audience knows what they’re rooting for. They can experience tension as they wait to find out if the character gets what he wants. The conflicts that result are the meat of your story.

Anyway, this is why I don’t really write about writing that often: I’d just look like a dork next to Hulk.

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1 Comments

  1. Vanessa, July 9, 2013:

    Sounds like good advice. I think it would also fit into Dramatica theory really well, too. :)

    And you don’t look like a dork.

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