Making the Rules Part 3: To Thine Own Characters Be True

There are a lot of different elements that make up a story, and if you ask a hundred different literary scholars, you’ll hear all of them, I’m sure. Setting, theme, atmosphere, plot, metaphor—there are essays on it, each written by a person, who according to themselves and possibly the person who taught their lit class, is totally correct and who has worked very, very hard to assure themselves is not a matter of opinion.   Me? Well my favorite part of storytelling is building the world and if I looked hard enough, I could give you a lot of reasons why it’s the most important part too. In fact, the place I read instead of literary essays,, just recently ran an article making just that claim.   And I totally disagree.   While it’s my favorite thing to do and will always be the big draw, especially in movies, I don’t think setting is the end all and be all of a story. No matter how many interesting concepts I introduce, no matter what kind of society I draw, or set-pieces I describe, they won’t mean anything without someone to move around in them, experience them, and … Continue reading

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