- the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.determination; resoluteness.SEE MORE
verb (used with object), pur·posed, pur·pos·ing.
- to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.to intend; design.SEE MORE
verb (used without object), pur·posed, pur·pos·ing.
- to have a purpose.
Every character, small or large, must have a purpose in the story. These rolls help the story move. Even the gas station attendant in some random chapter has a purpose, to put gas in the car of the main character to get them where they need to be. Purpose, even small is important.
We all know the story is about your hero. We want to know what they are doing, where they are going, and why. Great, but…ain’t there always…anyway, no matter how important the MC is, the background characters support his/her/their movements. In this awesome-sauce post we will look at some characters and their function in the story after…
COFFEE! Be nice to me. My lovely little itty-bitty world is shaky right now. Our beauty, Bindi Lou, is very sick. Like blood panels, urine tests (you have no idea how hard it is to get a urine sample from a dog), i.v. bags squeezed in to help her faster, blood so thick it was like syrup, lost 10 lbs in 5 days, can’t keep anything down…yeah, she is not feeling good and we are trying to figure out why. So, I am gonna go get a fresh cuppa, blow my nose, and wipe my eyes, then we will get back into the words you came here for. Meet me out on the reading rug. Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Trudy, we are on page 58, Character Web by Function in the Story.
The most important character. It may not be a hero situation, but this can also be the main character. This is the character with the central story and who drives the action. This character decided to go on a journey or chase a goal, this is where they find they have weaknesses and how to work through them.
Any characters your MC encounters fall into a few categories. They are either in the opposition, alliance, or some combination of the two.
This is the character that wants to stop the hero/MC from gaining their goal. The opponent should want the same thing as your hero. The hero and the opponent must come into direct conflict throughout the story. The relationship between the two should be the single most important one in the story. Now, the opponent doesn’t have to be a horrible person. He/she/they are simply someone on the opposite side of the MC/hero. The hero doesn’t even have to hate them either. They disagree on something and are willing to prove the other wrong.
The hero helper. They tend to be the hero’s sounding board. This allows the reader to understand what is going on in the head of the MC. The ally is on the same journey as the hero but have goals or dreams of their own they are chasing.
The fake friend. These tend to be pretty complex and fascinating characters. Think of a spy story. The spy pretends to be your ally or friend but is gathering info against you. But at some point in the story the fake friends starts to become a real friend. They begin to truly side with the MC/hero.
This character pretends to fight the MC but is actually on their side. This ally cannot give the hero/MC conflict like the true opponent. I relate this to the storyline of Snape in the Harry Potter series. We all grew to distrust him to only find out he was protecting Harry all along.
The subplot character provides another opportunity to define the hero through comparison and advance plot. The subplot character takes a parallel path alongside the MC but with different results.
Helpful? I thought so too. On our next episode of New Ink. Used Ideas. we will look at Character Technique: Two Main Characters
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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