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Define What's Missing:

It's simple to think of qualities and habits your character has, but the most important element of a character can be the very thing he or she is missing. What has happened in his or her past that causes this piece to be missing and what happens as a catalyst for this character to once again find this missing piece?

A friend of mine recently wrote a story where a character was a "Caregiver" type (those with Character Writer are familiar with this type), who's life revolved around taking care of others with a horrible disease at the expense of giving up his own life. To the outside observer, and to the reader, at first he seems like a wonderful, compassionate person. But it turns out he has no compassion. He takes care of these people because he lost his father to that disease and he feels he should help them to help himself deal with the loss -- he doesn't really care about these people at all. This comes out in interesting ways that gives this character a lot of depth.

Then, he falls in love with one of the patients and, through his crisis, learns to have compassion -- his missing element. He finds himself helping people because he wants to, not because he thinks he should. He learns to draw boundaries and remembers he has his own life to live. It's a powerful transformation. He was missing something and found it during the story.

Think about your character. What's he doing in the story? What assumptions do you make about his motivation to be doing this activity? Is it possible he's lacking the very quality you assume he has? That's the quality he should acquire during the story and the story should wrap around his learning this lesson. This technique can work for any story and any genre.

Character Writer automatically gives you the background and inner psychology of all 54 of the major character types. You then take that beginning and develop the character using your own story elements. Character Writer is designed for professionals and future professionals alike to take a vague story and general concepts about characters to that next, and most important, step of development. With this software program your characters will come alive and will help you develop your concept into an engaging and compelling story.

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