Week 1 - Storytelling
January 6 - Introduction
January 7 - Why we like stories
January 8 - Why we tell stories
January 9 - Your perspective
January 10 - Worlds/Characters
🔒January 11 - Responsibilities
🔒 Week 2
🔒 Week 4
🔒 Week 5
🔒 Week 6
🔒 Week 7
🔒 Week 8
🔒 Week 9
🔒 Week 10
🔒 Week 11
🔒 Week 12
Hour 144-168 | Worlds And Characters
Alright, we have worked our way up to this point, now it's really time to start developing that series of your. Today we will start to build the world and characters of your series.
Today we look at Worlds and Characters.
MY STORY -
A "What If" statement is ultimately connected to a world and a character. When we say world, what we really mean is the environment, or set of rules, in which our story will take place. It could be literal, like a coral reef, or figurative, like the mind of a young girl. Character, of course, refers to the subjects or individuals we follow on the journey of the story.
"What if" there was a girl lost in the town of Literal?
Let's talk about some of the worlds and characters that inspired some of our stories.
Star Wars has this great "What If" question, which is "what if there was a band of rebels that were trying to be the guardians of the human spirit" and for spice let's say there was this great war that was going on between this non-feeling technology trying to wipe out this kind of subtle human feeling and it just has this great "What If" question that really calls to the fundamental "right and wrong" sense that God gives us.
Another great world is Toy Story. The great thing about the world of Toy Story is that it's this really beautiful metaphor for growing up. And it's so genius because from the outside it looks so simple, but from the inside it's so complicated and so beautiful. So I think that's a really good example of a world sort of leading the story and a world containing a metaphor within it that we can all sort of grasp and hold on to.
In the audio theater, Adventures in Odyssey, the world takes a backseat to the characters of the show's protagonists who want to explore and have adventures so that they can understand more about God and life. The characters of Adventures in Odyssey are so incredibly alive to me that they could just talk about the weather and it would still be really compelling.
There are two ideas out there. One is that you should make you characters first, the other is you should make your worlds first. However, both ideas are wrong...and both are also right. This is because there is no right or wrong why to craft a story. If your characters come first, great, if your worlds come to you first, good. There is no rule as to how that should happen in the process.
Personally, I always think character should come first and then the world comes after. For example, a blind person forgetting his pants and going to work will have a completely different story than a seeing-eyed person forgetting his pants and going to work. Two characters will have completely different stories but the world is the same. So, for me, character is king. However, everybody works a little differently. After reading the first Fatherlander book I had people say that I liked to have my characters first so that I could make sure that my world was the worst possible one for the characters.
But anyway...moving on.
For J. Riley Peak (an Author I have worked with), he likes to come at it from the world first and then find the character to go into this world, or who that character is going to be. He needed to set the stage for a bunch of other characters to go through and then that is how he finds his stories.
Sometimes the world comes first and sometimes the character comes first. Either way, the story is born when both things, world and character, meet.
Let's get warmed up in this next exercise thinking about characters and worlds in the stories you love.
Exercise 4: Characters & Worlds
Part A: Return to your 3 stories. Identify the worlds and characters in each. Write these down.
Part B: Try mixing a character and world from different stories. Try this a few times and see what happens.
Part C: Return to your three "what if" statements from the previous exercises. Pick your favorite one. Can you imagine a possible character and world?
Part D: (optional) Draw or write about what life would be like in this world.
You can submit your ideas in the Comments section below, or write them down in your story journal.