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Alternative Scriptwriting, 4th Edition by Jeff Rush, Ken Dancyger

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Stretching the Limits of Character Identification

Audiences identify with characters who are in difficult situations and with characters they like or wish to be like. This identification is useful because it quickly simplifies the relationship between the audience and the story. The audience enters the story through the character with whom it can identify.

Identification also provides an umbrella of tolerance. Once involved with a character, viewers tend to overlook the more subtle issues of story credibility and are forgiving of the occasional use of coincidence. Writers don’t want their viewers to become too aware of the various manipulations ...

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