BREAKING BAD, DEADPOOL, DIE HARD, ERIN BROCKOVICH, flawed protagonist, fortitude, higher ideals, humor, sympathy, THE SOPRANOS, transgression, undeserved misfortune -

Very often, readers and talent (and audiences) are looking for characters who are sympathetic, particularly the protagonist. We need a degree of sympathy if we are to emotionally invest in the character’s story. Some writers take this desire for a sympathetic protagonist as a demand for a protagonist without vulnerabilities or flaws; it’s Captain America or nothing. That isn’t the case. We can and should be able to find sympathy for characters despite their flaws, in the same way we do for our flawed fellow humans. There are a few tried-and-true ways to develop character sympathy, even (or especially) with...

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BREAKING BAD, Goal, Motivation, Protagonist, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Sympathy, Three Pillars -

There are three pillars to keep in mind when crafting story in such a way that the audience can engage. These are: Goal, Motivation, Sympathy. Goal is simply an understanding of what the protagonist is trying to do. This should be the engine of the A-story; our story is about the protagonist pursuing the goal. If we don’t even know what the character is doing, then instead of story it’s just incident; stuff happening. There is no plot or momentum. If the audience can’t perceive or understand what the protagonist is trying to do, it’s easy for them to get...

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