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The Creation of Characters 1: Introduction - Lesson Now Playing


The Creation of Characters 1: Introduction

Mar 13, 2010

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The Creation of Characters 1: Introduction - Lesson Lesson Discussion


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scribble: Knowing One's self
at Jul 17, 2015 - 9:57 AM
Enjoyed the discussion about protagonist and also the idea that in order to create good characters we need to be able to be honest and truly introspective in understanding our own inner self.  I enjoyed and I think gained valuable knowledge within the concept of fully understanding the fundamental holistic underpinnings and psychology of the character before putting it into action.
librich: wow
at Dec 23, 2013 - 1:08 AM
Some pretty great stuff, I think.
Jo Jacques: Regarding self awareness in animals
at May 21, 2013 - 1:49 AM
Mr. McKee, I respectfully disagree with you on one point, which is that humans are the only creatures with self awareness and the ability to think about themselves and their place in the grand scheme.

More and more research has been saying what I have always known, which is that animals do a lot more thinking than we've ever given them credit for. I do believe they think about life, and interestingly, do so without language with which to interpret their thoughts, unless they have some kind of inner dialogue which functions similarly to language, but without the structure of language.

I was raised in a religious home where only humans were believed to have souls, and it puzzled me because I could clearly see the souls of my pets and I could never understand how anybody could say that they lacked souls, or why anybody would want to say that. I guess in my mind soul equals self awareness.

Your description of the cosmos in its plain, simple, inanimate lifelessness was so beautiful, but I do not believe we are so alone in the emptiness of it all, or in the complex and aware experience of it. I marvel at how similar different species are, like how a whale skeleton seems so similar to the human skeleton, that dogs, cats, rabbits, and humans all have two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth in similar position on the head, and I think of all the other ways we seem to be similar, like in the experience of emotions and, I believe, basic patterns of thought. I think we can even see what seems to be culture in groups of animals, and when I let my imagination run wild, I even wonder if it is possible for them to somehow share lore, legend, and possibly even stories in their societies.

Great lesson. I really love the way you put things.
davisg wrote
at Dec 02, 2012 - 3:06 PM
impressive and inspiring
at Sep 12, 2012 - 7:41 PM
Thank you, I like this lesson very much... I believe the idea that it´s very important the writer has to believe his characters in the story... Other way the hero in the story miss the power... and the audience can recognize it very soon... Also I believe the idea as more the writter knows his self as more powerfull can be his story... also the writting of the good honest story can help to the writter understand better himself by himself...
at Sep 12, 2012 - 7:41 PM
Thank you, I like this lesson very much... I believe the idea that it´s very important the writer has to believe his characters in the story... Other way the hero in the story miss the power... and the audience can recognize it very soon... Also I believe the idea as more the writter knows his self as more powerfull can be his story... also the writting of the good honest story can help to the writter understand better himself by himself...
RM Brand: Writing Romance
at Jul 17, 2012 - 9:18 PM
Romance writers tend to use the “hero archetype” and insist that a hero follow a certain set of rules in order to work in a romantic story. Frankly, I'm rather sick and tired of the cookie-cutter hero with his broad shoulders, nipped waist and penetrating eyes. In fact, I want to write a romance story where both the hero and the protagonist are average people, who have less symmetrical features but possess complex and rich personalities, like a past they are trying to escape or an event that makes them question everything they thought they knew. When I mentioned this at one of the meetings, immediately I was told it wouldn't sell. “The hero must be good looking,” one said. I said nothing, but felt disheartened. I realize that romance publishers sell these formulaic books like candy at the check-out stand, but I don’t want to be another Hersey bar. I doubt that Nora Roberts or Nicholas Sparks became world famous because they stuck to the broad-shoulder-nipped-waist mold. They write characters as though they were based on real people. I don’t pretend to know everything and I certainly don’t think my work is to Roberts’ or Sparks’ level. However, I am encouraged by these lessons on character because they voice what I have felt for years. Good characters come from within. 
Dham122: Excellent
at Mar 03, 2012 - 1:57 PM
18 minutes of pure common sense on the philosophy of craft and character.
ALLU ROYALE: Characters 1: Introduction
at Sep 13, 2011 - 2:23 PM
Working inside out is an absolute;though, difficult,  it brings tears to your eyes and you find yourself talking to the characters as you drive and walk.  AMAZING INTRODUCTION.
bapple: The Creation of Characters 1: Introduction
at Jul 26, 2011 - 3:56 PM
Brilliant! Insightful. Thought provoking. Most helpful
bapple wrote
at Jun 25, 2011 - 2:19 PM
I expected the discussion of characters to include antagonists. Doing a search I found that other lessons discuss the subject.
at Mar 13, 2011 - 5:24 PM
I was just thinking about going to another writing seminar on characterization and then I listened to this intro. Everything I need is right here--and inside of me. Thanks! I'm spreading the word about Storylogue...
SCSaunders: Excellent!
at Jul 15, 2010 - 8:02 AM
A dense meal that leaves you hungry for more.
farhe: Speak the Truth, Bob (!)
at Apr 09, 2010 - 3:33 PM
Let's hope Mr.McKee can inspire everyone to solve the crisis of story he is pleading with us all to overcome.  Integrity, in ourselves and in our characters, is a fine start.  Spread the good word puh-leeze.
cmpaton: The same but different
at Apr 01, 2010 - 3:41 PM
I have always disliked creating character profiles following a template, fill-in-the-blanks. It helps to hear that one does not (and should not) start with a plug-in archetype. I have fallen into this trap before and it gets me nowhere. I like the statement, “Artists create, hacks copy.” However, I am hoping to hear in the next lessons just *how* one goes about creating a character from the inner-self without creating a clone over and over.  Hey, I’m interesting, but since I know myself so well, I’d rather get to know characters that are different from me as well.
right2write: Thought Provoking
at Mar 25, 2010 - 12:19 PM
excellent! has my mind going in overdrive. I like that I can replay over & over. Thank-you.
mysticpamela: More more more!
at Mar 19, 2010 - 6:35 PM
I ate all this up the first night I joined. I WANT MOAR!!
PennyJM: I like this approach.
at Mar 19, 2010 - 1:37 PM
My protagonist is the brave "me". She says and does things I don't dare. Can't wait to see how I turn out!
Amanda: Excellent material
at Mar 15, 2010 - 6:03 PM
This particular segment on character is excellent and inspirational. Just making notes on a first novel and, although knowing I had to begin with creating the leading character, was not certain how to go about it.

Of my three major characters, the protagonist alternates between two of them. One has begun to take on the color of a shadow or even "romantic hero"--which I want to sqelch. I know that I need to settle on the protagonist before moving on into the story. I'm expecting that following the material in this lesson will make clear which character has the most complexity and strongest desire.

Thank you.
screamingpanda: Character and Environment
at Mar 14, 2010 - 3:53 PM
I love this approach and find it to be very challenging. It's a great reminder because it shows the true north of a character's self from which nearly all the major life decisions stem. Somehow, having the characters home, work, and the story's genre and setting in perspective can be helpful once the emotional self and soul of the character start to take shape. Yet it can be tempting to go world-building and decorating without getting at the core life force of the story.

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