Brandon Sanderson Lecture #9 – Characters Part 1

Overview – The meat of the lecture is at the beginning. The rest is multiple examples of excellent characters and undesirable characters. The last part of the lecture is a Q&A session. I enjoyed the entire lecture, but it is very hard to take notes after the beginning. This would be a lecture to watch multiple times.

What the purpose of Character is? Elements of your story. How to make readers care about your characters.

  • Establish empathy
    • Likeability
      • Showing like us
      • Nice
      • Show people liking them
  • Establish rooting interests
    • Motivation
    • Why can’t they have it (spiral into limitations, flaws)
    • Personal connection to plot
  • Establish a sense of progress with character
    • Flaw they have
    • Character journey
    • Mystery
    • What are they going to change?

A one note character that stays the same will get tiresome.

Character arc is super important.

Character quirks are good, but better if they relate somewhat with the plot.

Do not write a character to be a role. Every character should see themselves as the main character, even if they are not.

  • Motivations vs. Goals
    • Goals once accomplished, story over. Goals can shift.
    • Motivations can continue.

All lectures of Brandon Sanderson are now linked on the Storylines page if you wish to follow along in order.