Alida, Kathryn, and Matt discuss what it means to have active protagonists, problems we encounter with our own protagonists, and how you can keep yours in the game!


Special Announcement: Next week, Alida will be on Facebook Live to answer your questions about Character. Head over to Facebook and join the Story Works Writers Group so you can join the conversation! 

Wednesday, November 9th at 6:30 p.m. Central Standard Time


Show Notes:

What is agency? And how do you keep your protagonist active? Do coincidences and natural disasters take away character agency? What is they try/fail cycle and what does Alida have against it? What is the difference between a reaction and a response? When should you plan your characters agency? And how do you handle reaction scenes? In the end just ask yourself: “did my character lose a hand?”. If he did, then you have a pretty good chance – he’s active!

What we talked about:

What does it mean to have an active protagonist with agency? (0:15)

Does your character always have to be making choices? Or can coincidences happen in story lines? (3:35)

Alida disputes the Try/Fail cycle (6:12)

What is the difference between reactions and responses. (8:30)

How to fix the reactive cycle that can occur at the beginning of Act 2. (9:25)

When do you work on keeping your protagonist active? During planning, drafting or revision? (13:05)

How do you make sure your character is still being active in a reaction scene? (16:00)

Things we mentioned:

Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner
Star Wars Episode IV

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