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Character and Suspense
Transcript of Character and Suspense
Character & Plot
What kinds of people do we root for? (What kinds of characters do we sympathize with?)
Motivation vs Obstacle = Story
Obstacles happen on every page!
Character Driven Key Words
The way the problems of story turn out.
Somebody, Wanted, But, So...
If you like a character, you care what happens to them. Writers like us to connect. How?
We connect with likeable people.
We connect with admirable people: "Aspirational" Characters
We connect with people like us: "Relatable" Characters
Character Based Summary
You can summarize most stories with Somebody, Wanted, But, So... (Character, Motivation, Obstacle, Resolution).
Character & Change
Character & Suspense
Character & Theme
A character's learning process is called a
A character arc is the way a character changes in a story.
In most stories, the important characters are changed by the story. The story makes a character realize something about himself or the world. The character learns or changes or grows. (The change can be good or bad).
Character Change: The Secret to Theme
If you have trouble thinking about theme in a story, look closely at how characters change. The lessons the characters learn are usually about theme.
Talking About Character
To begin, we can describe a character's appearance and personality (aka. "
" and "
We can also talk about a character's relationships (friends, family, employers, teachers, etc.).
Beyond the Basics
There is more to talking about characters than traits and relationships.
Characters can be at the center of the plot and the theme.
Traits & Relationships
A fictional person
Feeling of support or connection for another person.
What you want or need.
Something that makes it hard for you to succeed.
When someone you like is in trouble, you have to turn the pages!
Red Riding Hood
to bring food to grandma
a wolf attacked!
a woodcutter had to save them all...
Character Traits & Relationships
Character Change & Theme
Want to Know More?
"Aspirational" and "Relatable" are new words used in politics and advertising.
The feeling of nervousness or excitement caused by wondering what will happen.
Make them worry or wonder and leave them hanging.
Make them sympathize with a character, then make things hard for that character.
Suspense comes from what you worry about!
To increase suspense make things harder for a character.
Make us connect, then make life hard!
Raise the stakes!
Unexpected reversals (setbacks!)
check out 2:22 - 3:10