Stephanie Bourbon Wants Us to Know “It’s All About Character”

LB’S NOTE: One of our fave TV writers-illustrators-screenwriters-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, talks about characters and “character” and what those words really mean.

by Stephanie Bourbon

Today, I’m talking about CHARACTER. 

The concept is simple. You write a story and it’s filled with characters. Maybe you have one or two leads and then some sidekicks and potential villains but you know that you need characters.

Sadly at the character level is where so many writers miss the mark because they simply don’t go deep enough.

When I was like 5 and going into acting and my teacher mentioned “intention” I was like “what’s that mean?” I had no idea. I was five, so sue me. But even as I got older that word kept coming up.

“What’s the INTENTION of the scene?” I wanted to pull my hair out.

Why couldn’t they just explain what it meant?

Well it MEANS THIS. 

What does the character want in the scene? What is their intention? Or if you really want it broken down, why are they there?

They can not simply be there to support the main character. The main character can’t simply be there to show us who he is. 

Trust me so many writers get confused about what show don’t tell means that I’ve read a gazillion books with scenes of the main protagonist getting a drink from the fridge-for no other reason than to tell us something about the character. If your protagonist goes to the fridge make sure it serves him/her in some way.

EXAMPLE-Maybe she is avoiding eye contact with her love interest or parent–her intention is to avoid something difficult and most likely get out of there or not spill some secret.


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