Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Robert McKee on Characters

I read this several years ago in Robert McKee's classic Story and I've thought about it often. I had never thought of characters that way, but I find I agree. Because when a character resonates with me, it's not just because they seem real. It's often because I recognize something I value in them. 

In Frozen, I love Olaf's optimism that a snowman can survive in summer and Anna's chutzpah to throw a snowball and a snow monster or leap off a cliff. In Pride and Prejudice I love Elizabeth's determination to wait for love and her strength to be counter-culture. In Heist Society I love Kat's fierce family loyalty. 

What value does your main character represent that you think will resonate with readers?


  1. Probably trusting. She was hurt, and she couldn't bring herself to trust people, but she's learning to trust again.

  2. I think it would be her determination. She has been shunned from her village and has been treated badly her whole life, but she has never given up on her goal of becoming loved and respected by the people of her village.

  3. She worries on the adventures and likes to take her time. She isn't brave or courageous. But it despite her flaws, she loves those around her dearly and will do anything to make sure they're safe.
    - Katie

  4. I think each of my main characters have a trait that will resonate with readers. One of then has issues with constantly having to be in control, but she is a great leader who knows when she's wrong. Another is a wild child with anger issues, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends and family. And the last one has a bad habit of hiding things from people, but she loves deeply.

  5. I have a character that has values that resonate strong with readers. My character has a sense of justice that makes him do things like save someone he absolutely hates because leaving him to die when he is helpless is not just.