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The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

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Chapter Four

Creating Compelling Characters

What is Character?

Character is the human element of your story, the aspect that the audience actually cares about.

Your characters are also the most unruly part of your story to write. Rather than bend them to your will, you need to listen to them and let them do what they want. They will make the decisions they want to make, say what they want to say, and create the meaning they want to create. If you generate great characters and throw them into volatile situations, then they will generate great stories and take you along for the ride.

In this section, I’m using the term character to apply primarily to your main character or hero. Many of the questions in this chapter also apply to other major characters, ...

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