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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

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11THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHARACTER

Most writers didn’t major in human psychology in college. Which is a shame, really, because that’s one of the most important aspects of writing great stories. Our heroes and villains need to behave according to the known principles of human behavior, which may not be something you instinctively understand.

One way to grasp the rudimentary basics of how and why people do what they do is to watch Dr. Phil. Really. Or Oprah. Or, if you’d rather read about it, grab the latest pop psychology bestseller and take some notes. Or better yet, attend one of those seminars on how to get your life together. Because each of these self-imposed experiences will show you why people—characters—think what they think and do the things ...

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