Tuesday, October 17, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit


We're delving into another of the three elements of story: character. (The three elements being character, setting, and plot 😄) I'm not going to go in any special order with these. 

Here's a provocative sentence I came across: 

Archetypes are masks of a complete human being.

Last month I unpacked the complete human being. Let's put it all together.

Our characters start out with a vision of themselves, either good or bad. They see themselves perhaps as the Hero, a Captain America, or perhaps as a Villain, like Felonious Gru in Despicable Me. More, all their actions and attitudes consciously reflect this archetype -- they wear their vision of themselves like a mask.

But it isn't their real selves. Real people, and characters who feel real, are messy. Conflicted, inconsistent, flawed. They change. They grow, they shrink, they lose, and they win.

Because their mask isn't their real self, it keeps that character separate and distanced from change, contradiction, interaction with other people, and even fully understanding themselves.

So, like a real person, they must learn and change to embrace their own truth, to remove the mask of the static, idealized archetype or even burst it, to become a complete and full human being.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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