Some of my writer friends rock in this area. They are so good in finding the emotional hook of their main characters in stories. You would just fall in love with the characters instantly.
I’ve been reading about this subject and I figured this will be useful to share with all of you.
According to Elizabeth Lyon in Manuscript Makeover, underdeveloped characters miss the following elements –
1. Backstory wound
2. Universal need / personal yearning
3. Strength and weakness
4. Clarity of theme
To relate Lyon’s points to actual fictional characters, let’s take the example of Neo’s character in the Matrix Trilogy movies.
Neo doesn’t believe in himself and his abilities until he learns that his life has been an illusion, a computer generated world beyond anything even his own computer hacker sensibilities can grasp.
Morpheus, the Oracle, Trinity and other characters in the story believe him to be “ the One”. When Neo fully understands who he is, he leads the battle to save the human race.
Strength and weakness
Neo’s strength lies in never giving up and his weakness lies in his own confidence.
Neo against his computer generated world, in other words, man against machine. There are also amazing instances in the movie where Neo and his friends possess superhuman strength and skills. The machines possess human qualities, like the way Mr. Smith replicates himself out of ego.
No wonder, the best made movies and stories are filled with deeply strong, memorable characters that make a lasting impression on us.
What is life without its characters?
Without you and me and all the beings that make up our world. Where would we be without each other? And when we share the ups and downs, the fun, the sacrifices, the victories and defeats that our journeys bring, we become strong, memorable and make a lasting impression on each other.
Don’t you agree?
On that note, which fictional character has influenced or intrigued you? Do keep me posted.