Did you stretch? Tie your shoelaces and warm up for what’s to come? Let’s be smart, ladies and gentlemen. I am not a spring chicken any more so warming up is key to me not being in agony later. One and two and three and S-T-R-E-T-C-H.
Before we get started meet me in the kitchen/breakroom for a fresh cuppa and our morning/afternoon/evening nibble. I don’t know what time you are reading this, so I am filling in all the blanks. My morning nibble is a granola bar cuz my sad life revolves around the journey of weight loss. Argh. I will run the vacuum over the reading rug and bring out the pillows while you pillage the cabinets. When you finally venture out here, don’t forget your copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Trudy. We are on page 102. Ready? Too bad- we are doing it anyway.
(This is where you are gonna wanna print the post. It will make it easier to create your own worksheet.)
Creating Your Characters: Writing Exercise
- Character Web by Story Function and Archetype: List all your characters and describe what function they hold in the story. Next to each name write their archetype. If you are not sure of their position go back through my posts and review the terms and what they mean to your characters.
- Central Moral Problem: List the moral problem in the story.
- Comparing the Characters: List and compare the following elements for each of your characters.
- Need, both psychological and moral
- Power, status, and abilities
- How each character faces the central moral issue
Begin your comparisons between the hero and opponent(s).
- Variation on the Moral Problem: ensure each character has their own point of view on the central moral problem.
- Requirements of a Hero: Flesh out your hero. Use the four requirements listed below.
- Make your MC fascinating.
- Make sure your readers can identify with the MC, but not too much.
- Make sure the audience can empathize with the MC, not sympathize.
- Give the hero a moral and a psychological need. It makes them more ‘real.’
- Hero’s Change: Write down the self-revelation first and then go back to the need. Make sure the revelation resolves the need. What that means is- whatever is holding your hero back is what they need to fix. They must overcome their fear to succeed in the end. Example: Indiana Jones facing a pit of snakes to get what he needs. He hates/fears snakes but must move through the pit to succeed in the end.
- Changed Beliefs: Write the beliefs your hero challenges and changes over the trajectory of the story.
- MC’s Desire: What is the desire? Is it a singular thing? Will it be clear to the reader when the desire is collected?
- Opponents: Details. How and why are they the opponent? How do they attack the weakness of the hero? If you are using multiple opponents, then make sure they attack different aspects of the hero’s weakness.
- Opponents’ Values: List their values. What is their level of power, status, and abilities when it comes to being the opponent?
- State in one line the moral problem of each character and how they justify the actions they take to reach the end goal.
- Minor Character Variation on the Weakness and Moral Problem: What is the minor characters approach to the hero’s weakness and moral issue? Do they side 100% with the MC or are they simply supporting their friend no matter what?
- Four-corner Opposition: Map out your corners like we learned about in the last post. Put your hero on a corner and the same for each opponent. Label your characters with their archetypes within the story. List their differing attributes. There may be multiple opponents, but they are not the same. Differences will matter in the way they attack the hero.
I know, this is a lot. If you have your copy of the book you will see that Mr. Trudy has broken each step down by comparing it to A Streetcar Named Desire. Follow the steps using your own story idea. Take some time and flesh out your story using the above guidelines. Will you have all the answers? No, but it is a start.
We will be moving onto Chapter 5: Moral Argument. Keep in mind, we still have to cover chapters 5, 6, and 10. You still have plenty of time to get your copy of THE ANATOMY OF STORY by JOHN TRUDY- order it today.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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