Character is the Basis of Story Structure


Here is another story paradigm covered in Donna Michelle Anderson’s book. I managed to read this cover to cover while waiting for a writing seminar. It’s based on classic mythical hero structure.

Basically it’s all about character. A character had a need which must be fulfilled. Character drives action which in terms explores theme. Make sure your characters are relatable. This may or may not mean likeable. A relatable character could be an everyman/woman and your audience must identify with him, even if he’s/ she’s a homicidal maniac. Your audience must also be able to track the character’s arc to keep them engaged.

SET UP

We see the main character in their normal world, their conflicts and where they want to go.

UNEXPECTED CHANGE

The main character’s natural world is upset, causing a problem which must be addressed.

Rejection – The main character is reluctantly drawn in action.

Commitment – After the initial trepidation, the main character decides to embark on their mission.

REVERSAL

Despite numerous obstacles the main character embraces their challenge.

Their opponent returns to hinder the main character’s goals.

Escalation of conflict as the main character faces more obstacles.

FINAL BATTLE

There is a twist which alters the main character’s course.

The main character hits rock bottom. All is lost.

The main character makes a decision to overcome the final hurdle.

The main character makes the ultimate sacrifice and emerges a wiser, better person.

REWARD

The journey ends and the main character resolves their issues.

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