Conflict and Character

I am using Halestorm’s “I Am The Fire” to start the writing sessions for chapters featuring my female protagonist. It’s appropriate for the character’s situation, since she tries to deal with her fears and take her rightful place as a strategist in the military fantasy I’m working on. (I have a Green Day song for my male protagonist, who learns he’s both human and eldritch Other, despite being raised by humans.) Playlists help me get into my characters’ heads, see their situations as they do, and drive the creation process. I “see” my stories as I write, so it’s like having a movie soundtrack.

My current assignment for the pedagogy class involves creating a lesson plan for character to present to an undergraduate class. Since there’s always more to learn, by the time I’m done putting this together there will be a new tool in the toolbox, I’m sure. Round versus flat characters. The fully realized presented against a background of stock, flat characters. What drives them forward? Much of what drives us, of course: pride, anger, grief, love and shades of these in between.

Plus, there’s relationship. How do they interact? What agendas do they wish to advance or squelch? Do they hold the power position, or are they subordinate? Have those dynamics changed, and if so, how? What do they tell themselves to get through an average day? How do they handle it when all bad things rain down upon them? Conflict reveals characters, makes readers care about them.




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