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How to really get readers to care about your characters

April 18, 2014

A neat little interview for any writers out there.


In the short video below by screenwriter and director, John Truby, he says one of the biggest mistakes writers make is how they create their characters.

Truby says most writers create characters by making them as detailed as possible. We’ve all heard this advice, right? Make your characters detailed, use all five senses, etc.

But Truby says having detailed characters does NOT make your audience care about your characters.

What makes them care is discovering two things:

1) what is the character’s fundamental weakness — their fundamental flaw?

2) what is the character’s story goal?

Truby says the best stories will show the character going after their goal, which will then make them deal with their greatest internal weakness.

To hear what else Truby has to say about creating great characters, watch his video below and check out some of his other videos:

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  1. Great stuff. Bang on, and imparted so simply and clearly 🙂

  2. I also enjoyed this video. Looks like John Truby has several other YouTube videos on writing, characters, stories, etc. He also wrote “The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller.” I own a copy but haven’t read it yet. Seeing this video reminded me that I need to do that.

    • Hmm…will have to give those other videos a look, I think, if this one was anything to go by.

      Are you planning to blog about his book when you read it? I’d be keen to see if you think it’s worth trying.

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