Friday, May 20, 2011

The Spectra of Development

To achieve a great story, plot usually isn’t enough. You need characters. But more than that, you need characters that change during the course of the story. They need to be affected by what is happening around them. This is a huge subject and there are a variety of different ways to achieve this, but today I just want to share one thing I read somewhere on the Writer’s Digest site. (Couldn’t find it again...)

The idea is that each character has a certain degree of the following spectra:

Tough Guy <–> Whiner
Team Guy <–> Rebel
Artist <–> Dreamer
Smarty <–> Dummy
Blooming Rose <–> Wallflower
Grinder <–> Lazy Dog
Goody <–> Baddy
Believer <–> Doubter

In other words, the character is for example, a whiner, rebel, artist, smarty, wallflower, grinder, goody and doubter. Then, by the end of your story, the character should have developed at least two or three spectra to the other side. Say, he changed from rebel to team guy, wallflower to blooming rose and doubter to believer.

In this way, you can measure how your character changed. (And if he did.)

This is by no means foolproof, perfect or the best method. This is A method. If it works for you, then that’s great.

Fun fact, I also remember the person saying that Sarah Conner from the Terminator movie has a perfect character development – each of the 8 attributes changed in her. Look again.

What do you think of this method? Do you find it useful? Interesting? None of the above?

No comments:

Post a Comment