Choosing a Character's Strengths: Likeable but not perfect | Barbara Vance | Skillshare

Choosing a Character's Strengths: Likeable but not perfect

Barbara Vance, Author, Illustrator

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8 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. 1 Intro

      4:27
    • 2. 2 Introduction to Strengths

      5:50
    • 3. 3 Types of Strengths

      4:05
    • 4. 4 Benefits of Categorizing Strengths

      1:57
    • 5. 5 VIA Character Strengths

      2:39
    • 6. 6 List of Virtues and Strengths

      10:07
    • 7. 7 Creating Interesting Strengths

      6:36
    • 8. 8 Building Strengths into your plot

      8:25

About This Class

Welcome to this course on defining your character’s strengths!

Choosing a character’s strengths seems easy—it’s what makes them likeable and relatable. But the truth is, when we don’t strategically pick them, the characters never really connect to one another or to the plot, which makes for lifeless characters and a boring story. 

This class is all about helping you identify and brainstorm the best traits for your character. I will help you:

  1. Choose strategic character strengths that advance the plot
  2. Identify common character virtues and the strengths associated with them
  3. Discuss how traits relate to flaws

 I have a great worksheet for you that lists many character strengths and provides action-oriented questions that will help you determine how the traits you choose can be women into the story

Transcripts

1. 1 Intro: Hi, everyone. My name is Barbara Advance, and I'm an instructor of storytelling and creative communications. I helped filmmakers, novelists, media storytellers, companies and a host of other creators tell amazing stories, variety of medians. If you're watching this, you're probably interested in how to write a fleshed out engaging character for your story . And you have come my friend to the right place because I have numerous courses on character development, how to build a character profile to how to craft character flaws. This class is sister class, actually to my character flaws course, and it's all about character strengths. We just have to be given a reason to invest themselves in your story. And most of the time those reasons are compelling characters and gripping plots. But the truth is that character and plot are inseparable. So when we develop our characters, we should be developing our plot as well. I began immersing myself in story and narrative technique over 15 years ago, and I have worked with hundreds of students and creative professionals on crafting plots. I've personally walked them through this creative process and understand deeply where writers tend to go a stray or struggle. My course is our product of these experiences. This class will help you strategically choose character strengths, but it that's the narrative and captivate the reader. We will look at how strengths function in a story, how they relate to characters floors so that you maximize each trade in your story. Well, look at the types of strengths people have and why variety is important. We address how prominent those strengths should be because some characters are more likable than others and how to actually write these strength into our story in a way that is not idealize or cardboard or off putting. We want to write realistic, honest strengths that make the reader feel like she really knows our characters. My goal for you is at the end of this course. You will have identified your characters virtues and strength, and you will know how those traits specifically relate to your plot so that as you write your story Evans, you are also developing your character in a way that feels honest and natural to the reader . Great stories engage readers for their plot and characters, so we want to make sure that we are always developing both of those would be right. If you have watched my other courses, then you know that one of my primary goals is that my students learn to be independent storytellers who can analyze the stories they love and figure out why and how those stories work and then learned from that. This frees you from feeling bound by writing rules and instead opens you up to the nuances of great plants. I want you to be able to read a book or watch a movie and know exactly why it worked or didn't work for you and how you can take those insights and apply them to your own writing . At the end of this course, I have a fantastic character strengths worksheet for you that you can fill out that's going to help you identify the best strengths for your character and how to work them into the plot says Stay tuned for that. I did want to add again that this is a sister course to my character flaws course. So if you haven't watched that one yet, give it a look. Once you finished this one between the two of them, you will really have the tools you need to brush your character out. I am so excited. You are here and I look forward sharing this course with you before we begin. Please take a moment and visit my website. Signed up for my mailing list. This opens you up to special courses, free downloads and vice from me That's not available anywhere else online. Thank you so much for your interest. Now let's dive in and looking character straight just 2. 2 Introduction to Strengths: just a few bits of advice on how to get the most out of this course. I always like to remind my students I do not offer writing rules. I offer guidelines. Do not get hung up on everything that you hear in this course, or that she read in books or year and other courses and think that these are rules and this is the way you have to do story. And there are no other options. That's just not true for anything I will tell you today or any of my other classes. There is always, always a plethora of exceptions off wonderful novels, film, short stories, novellas or any other story, meaning you can think of that, actually break those rules. So rules, Um, no guidelines. Yes, it's good to know these things That's good to know best practices. But again, part of being an independent storyteller is that we want you to be able to go and look at the narratives you love and see. Maybe that fit the best practice and maybe didn't. And why or why did it not so pleased to keep that in mind? I do also recommend that you download the character strength worksheets before you go through the course, because it actually outlines a lot of the character strengths that we are going to go over in class. So having this in front of you and having some of the question for you be seeing on the slides in front of you will just be helpful for you, and you'll be able to sort of make notes and jot down ideas you have for your characters. So I recommend downloading this in event and then following a long wicket. As we proceed. It might seem obvious that character strengths matter, but it is actually worth talking about what the function of an actual character strength here's because otherwise we just end up choosing traits that we like, found thinking about how they actually fit into the plot and when our goal is to write a character that is really deeply imbued into the plot itself, you want to be strategic about the character traits you choose, which means knowing what the function of that character trait in your story is. There are two primary things that character strengths provide your stories and your readers that we want to consider the first thing that character strength can do is make them relatable. When we are watching your protagonist go through a story, we're sort of we're putting ourselves in. Their shoes were seeing ourselves as that hero, and we're walking through the street with them. If we've gone through struggles, they've gone through. If we're going through difficulties, they're going through, and that's really going to help us connect with them in a way that we could not otherwise. And so you want to craft a character who has strengths that your readers can relate to, understand or associate with in some ways, because that helps them connect their fortune story. The other thing that character strengths can really bring to your stories inspiration. When we have a protagonist and again, I'm going to be speaking mostly two protagonists. But everything I say in this course applies to any character. I'm just going to talk about protagonists because that's sort of human character. But we want characters that yes, we relate to because they are flawed people. We also are inspired by people who do things that we admire. We want to be like them in some ways, so there's always this combination of things that we relate with in terms of their floors and drawbacks, but that we are energized by and we can put ourselves in their shoes and see ourselves as the hero in some ways as well. So keep in mind that when you're choosing these strengths of yours that these allow us to connect with your character. Ideally, your character is going to have both internal and external strengths. So an external strength would be something like being able to ride a horse. Really? Well, you know, that's a that's a striking the right horse rider, but an internal strength is going to be someone who's tremendously honest and ground it. So when you're thinking about your character strengths, do you think both of the internals and the externals as we go through the class? Finally, when we talk about developing a character, its flaws, strengths, backstory, etcetera, please understand that the extent to which you do this depends on the story you are trying to tell if you're riding a plot driven novel, you may choose not to focus as much on character development, or at least not to make character development as much of a focus in your story. If you're riding tends to be more plot driven, investigating your characters. It's still a great idea. I totally recommend it, even if a lot of your revelations don't actually make it into the story in an obvious way. So if you running that plot German narrative, I still recommend taking time to investigate your characters, even if you don't end up putting all of that character into the actual story. Because it is, in fact, a plot driven story. Character driven stories aren't just by necessity going to reveal a lot more of that investigative character work that you do because you are focusing so much on the internal mind, your character and the back story in their lives, etcetera. All right, having said all of that up in the next module, we're going to look at all of these different kinds of traits that you can have 3. 3 Types of Strengths: this module, we're going to look at the various general kinds of strengths or characters can have. People have gift in a variety of ways. They have skills that personality, their values. Well rounded characters generally have strengths in a variety of these areas, so it's important for us to identify what these general sort of trade buckets are so that we can make sure we're filling more than one of them for each character. After we do this, we can delve into more detail about specific strengths to the first kind of character strength that I want to address. These would be strength of mind so things that deal with being analytic. When you have a character who are great thinkers, they plan ahead. They identify problems very rational based traits that would fall into these or strength of mind bucket. This also includes having a sense of logic and a good handle on what is actually true. The next bucket, in which a variety of strengths would fall, would be emotional strength, um, emotional strength. So they also involved the mind. But they are more about connecting people with each other and with oneself. So these trades are all about relationships, How you carry gets on with others, how well she knows herself and is at peace with herself. So strength of mind Bucket will have a bunch of straits in it that relate to that this emotional relationship strengths. Bucket will have certain traits in it. The third bucket, our skills. And again, these would be those more external things. These are things like sewing or shooting an arrow or running fast for being a great speaker . Skills Bucket will really be, for the most part, your external straight. These can be both inherent things that they're just naturally good at. But they can also be learned, learned traits that they worked for, in strove and got better at either way. They are productive activities, and they often have some kind of tangible or measurable results. And the fourth bucket, which is the one, will be dwelling on quite a bit. Here are virtues and virtues are behaviors that demonstrate moral standards. They are near universally considered admirable, so these are things like honesty, patience and humility. They're not emotions because they're not really about feelings and relationships, but nor are they necessarily strength of mind. Although the involved both strength of mind and emotions, their own thing. Now what you will find as we go through this is that certain traits that would fall into the emotions bucket or into the strength of mind buckets will also make their way into the virtues. Bucket. Andi, I'll go into this later. But just to clarify. Here, virtues are sort of broad categories of just pretty much universally admired ways of being . And within each of those virtues, we can drill down to small, specific strengths that in body, that virtue. And so we're going to break it down and look at the But those are the four sort of bucket so we can look at things that are strength of mind, things that are strength of emotion, demonstrating good virtue or hand having good skills. Now could you break this down of the ways? Absolutely. But this is a great way to look at them without getting over Well, so what I would like to do now is drill down on virtues because what you'll find is that want to cover virtues and start categorizing those mental and emotional strengths associating with them. You have covered a lot of your basis 4. 4 Benefits of Categorizing Strengths: In this next section, we're going to break down virtues into six categories based on the values and action or the B I. A character strings like the section before this is going to simplify and categorize the kinds of virtues and strengths character can have. This provides us with three made benefits. One. It makes sure your character has a variety of get that fall into several trade bucket, which makes them more flushed out and relatable to. It helps to take a wide view of your character so that you are not sort of stuck in the trees, and the third thing it does is it forces you to look at how these traits relate to one another was. Truth is that if you just choose traits without considering how they work together, that can result in several problems. First of all, the problem can be that they won't actually fit into a plot. They contradict one another, um, portly, say appear to contradict one another, which can make the character seem unreal and sort of disengaged. The reader. So when we simplify and categorize, were actually able to see where these potential issues arise so that we can make sure that we are writing characters that are really cohesive and meeting and real. We also want to avoid writing characters all more than happy, same strength. This is something that I often see when I'm working with people where you sort of look their characters. And a writer might say, Well, someone so is good with a bow and this person can run fast and there's a really superficial strengths, but that down in the depths and the core of these characters, they're actually very, very similar. So when we can sort of outline and simplify and and in numerator in more general terms with strength are for each of these characters, this allows us to make sure that we don't have too much over that from one character to another. 5. 5 VIA Character Strengths: Okay, So what are the V I, character strength, the V I or value in actions classifications? Character strengths is actually an assessment that was created to identify a person's strengths. It's comprised of 24 character strengths that are morally and universally valued across cultures. And these 24 character strengths full under six broad virtue categories and those six virtue categories are as follows. They are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Now, according to the assessment creators, everybody has all 24 character strengths in the personalities, just to varying degrees. Now again, I want to be really clear. Here. In the previous section, we said that strengths could fit in one of four buckets mental emotional skills based and virtues. We're not drilling down on that fourth bucket virtue bucket, and we're going to see what those virtues are. And then we'll look at how, within those virtues, there are a variety of strengths. But you will see when we do this. Is that some strength within abrupt? You are emotional and some are mental again. You might be asking why we didn't just put these emotional and mental buckets inside the Virtue bucket in the earlier lesson, and the reason is that because not all strengths are virtues, some strengths are not universally acknowledged as moral. For example, some countries might view persistence is a great quality, while others think it is unbecoming. Some countries and cultures will think demonstrating emotional vulnerabilities wonderful, while others will see it as inappropriate. Don't get bogged down on where a specific trade it. Please remember, these categories are meant to simplify things. The goal isn't to categorise. The goal is to see one way of breaking things down. It's just one way you could break them down another way, if you like. Okay, now let's walk through each of these virtues and some of the strengths that accompany them . This is a great It's a great brainstorming exercise, so don't worry about writing all of these down again. I have a great cheat sheet for you, with all of them listed and described, so that you can reference it when you're flushing out your characters. 6. 6 List of Virtues and Strengths: Okay, So, Virtue, one wisdom and knowledge. When you look at the charm, historically, wisdom is a difficult word to define, and there are a lot of attempts to do so before our purposes. Consider how the more curious we are. The more open toe ideas, the more perspective we can potentially gain. This includes creative thinking, thinking outside the box. It's more than simply being knowledgeable in a subject. It is a more holistic way of being and thinking strength. That company, this virtue involved acquiring and using knowledge. And they include things like creativity. Creativity is being able to devise new ways, conceptualizing doing something. It's not just about artistic endeavors. Someone could be creative in science like Einstein. Or they could be creative on the battlefield there a general or something so that its core creatives are able to express originality and adaptability in certain areas of their life. Another strength that falls into this category is curiosity, curiosity. This one's all about exploring being open to new experiences and join them, um, enjoying experience for its own sake. Curious people often seek novelty in terms of experience and ideas. 3rd 1 would be open mindedness or just having good judgment. So demonstrating. Legitimate? Probably. This is one of the most common things we think up when we define someone is wise. But didn't dp on that and think what makes someone have good judgment skills like critical thinking, really thinking ideas through and being open to hearing all sides of an issue would fall into this category. Ex love of learning someone with a love of learning. These people are going to be enthusiastic about mastering skills or absorbing new ideas and bodies of knowledge. This is the person who would rather do something well for its own sake, then to say, get a good grade or be paid the most for its. That student, too, would turn the project in four days late and would rather take a B. But then their project is totally amazing. They will demonstrate, believe that a task at hand is doable. They a curious. They can figure out what exactly something means or how to accomplish something, and they also have a strong ability to identify the necessary resources needed to accomplish. And the final strength in this category is perspective. People, perspective are people who provide good counts they can take a big picture view of things, and they also really often have elevated social intelligence. The next virtue is courage. When you think of someone with bravery or courage, you think of a strength of mind and a certain amount of confidence strength that accompany this virtue involved accomplishing goals in the face of adversity, the first strength being bravery, standing up for what is right. These are people who are going to act on their convictions. Even if it's unpopular. They are not going to shrink away from a threat. They're not gonna shrink away from challenge or even pain. There's also, of course, physical bravery, just like yes, I will go and fight with my sword or go into that. You know, the strength of this would be persistence persists is a courageous thing. It's a courageous way to be, and persistent people tend to finish what they stored, their industrious, they don't give up, and when you really think about it, that takes a lot because it can be hard. Give me a lot of in deficit really difficult. The Will Smith movie, The Pursuit of Happiness and how persistent his character Waas. Here's this man gets to a state of homelessness. But he so wants this job and wants to care for his son that he just nothing is going to stop him. He persists and persists, and that's truly brave. Way to be integrity. It totally takes bravery to be honest and upright on, and that's what this is all about. It's honesty and authenticity. These people are genuine, They speak truthfully and they take responsibility for their actions and feeling these air , those people who are absolutely committed to doing what is right. And I think we all know how much bravery that can take at times, vitality. People who have a zest for life, people who are enthusiastic, energetic. They approach life with a lot of excitement. You know, those people who throw themselves into everything they do that, Yes, we can do this and they just throw themselves into it. That would be this sort of vitality, and you might ask yourself, why why would you put vitality into the cart category? But when you think about how challenging life can be, there's a great deal of bravery in approaching life with a lot of zeal, anyway. And saying we can do this and having a can do attitude, that's that's a wonderful way to be next. The virtue of humanity strength that fall into this category are going to be all about relationships. So the first thing love just buying and close relationships with others, especially carry. For those who reciprocate those feelings, that is an enormous strength. The next one would be kindness. So generosity, nurturing, compassion, being altruistic. Those people who are just so nice and help take care of people that would be under this category. And the third is social intelligence. So these are these emotionally intelligent people. They would be aware of other's feelings and motivations. Knowing what makes people tick. Being able to read others respond properly. These are the people who really know how to read a room and respond to a lot of different social situations. The next virtue would be justice. So strength that accompany this virtue include those that build a healthy and stable community, teamwork being an active citizen, someone who is socially responsible, loyal and a team member. So it's all about loyalty, and they will just totally do their share as part of a team and they will be very loyal to the virtue of justice. Also in entails people with a gift of fairness people who treat everyone the same according to notions of what is actually just. They are good at not letting that personal bias get in the way, and they give everyone a fair chance. And finally, leadership leadership would fall into this category. The organizer of the person who encourages the group and sort of builds and maintains those good group relationships. This is that person who organizes the group activity and then totally make sure that it happens. The next virtue is temperance, so strengths that are included in this virtue are those that protect against excess. So forgiveness and mercy, giving people second chances. Accepting other people's failings, humility, demonstrating, modesty, letting accomplishment to speak for themselves, thes of those people who will not necessarily seek the spotlight or even regard themselves as better people than others, even if other people actually think they are better people than have props, prudence not taking any unnecessary risks. These people are careful. It is all about making really thoughtful good decisions, Um, whether it's in what you do, what you say someone with prudence is that person who is going to really think before they speak that would fall into this category. Self regulation, self control, discipline People can manage their emotions, impulses and desires. The next category would be transcendent strengths that a company this for to include those that forge connections to sort of a larger universe and provide meaning the first of these being people who appreciate beauty and excellence. Just fix this gift of seeing the world and others with wonder and all amazement people who seem to just really absorb the joys of life gratitude. So people were just really great at being thankful, genuinely in their hearts, thankful and then also really good at expressing that, thanks to others hope, hopeful people. People who are optimistic about the future. And that hope then translates a willingness to achieve a desired result. Because you won't because you think you can also humor people who are playful, lighthearted and enjoy lifting other people up. It's not necessary. People have to tell jokes. It's just sort of light lightheartedness and being able to see the light sides of an issue and then finally, spirituality, so people with a religiousness or faith, some sort of sense of purpose and meaning. These are people who have solid beliefs about higher purpose and meaning and they know are working to know how they fit in that largest skin. They really often have believes about meanings of life that shape their behavior and very often provide comfort for others. So there you have it. Those are all of the virtues, all of the strength. Again. I hope you're following along with the little work she I've made for you because that would make that also much easier. But it's good to just do a run down on those. Now let's talk about how we can actually apply. 7. 7 Creating Interesting Strengths: Okay, Now that we've gone through all of these, how do you apply them to your character? One last thing before we dive in. As we look at these virtues, remember that most people do not demonstrate over to in all of its areas or in all the areas of his life. Someone might be highly creative when it comes to her art daring, bold, original. But then, when it comes to the romantic life, that person is safe and afraid and doesn't like to take risks. So as we go through these don't force your character into a only one. Nothing situation. On the other hand, we are more naturally strong in some areas than others, which is why we can say of some people. Oh, sorry, Some smart or Jason has such humility, or Kyle is so funny, too. People can have certain characteristics stand out. This goes back to what we were saying earlier, the beginning that most people demonstrate all of the V I virtues to varying degrees. Your job is to figure out what those degrees are and to choose the ones that focus in on your narrative because, let's face it, the reader does not get in a lifetime with your character. They get 350 pages or 120 minutes, and that's not enough time to flush all of these out. So you have to pick a few. So I'm going to give you five questions that will go a long way to helping you outline who your character is and how they fit in the plot. Okay, question one. If the person closest in relationship to my protagonist were to have pick one of these strengths not the virtues but the strength to describe her, which would he choose? And why? The second question is, which of these virtues and then below that which strength in particular do you want your reader to associate with this character? Now, bonus question is that if this does not match Question one, why not three? Which of these traits would your protagonist use to define herself? Which of these traits was your antagonised say that your character absolutely does not possess? And finally, how does it make you and the other characters in your story feel to be around someone with this strength? If I'm around someone I considered brave, I tend to feel safer. Perhaps if Jane is around someone really smart, she feels energized and challenged. While if Beckett is around someone really smart, he feels agitated and feel stupid. Do you see the potential for drama if all of these questions don't align? And that's part of the interesting gift that these questions are, they ask you. Okay, pick some virtues. But now this. Look at these virtues to a variety of different lenses, because again, plot is about conflict, and it's about perceptions and misperceptions. So when we take, you don't want to write your character well, these are my strengths, and then it's all consistent everywhere. I mean, sometimes that happens, but very often we'll see nuances and you want to find those nuances. And so when you ask questions like that, this helps you do that. I mean, do you see the potential drama for these that they don't align? Can they alone? Absolutely. But in many cases, if you dwell, you will find that they don't, and now you have to figure out the dramatic situation behind that. So ask yourself how I'm not going to show the reader each one of these trait perspectives that we just listed. Let's look at an example. So let's say Sarah's, our protagonist on her sister would say she's highly creative. You want the region to say that she's bringing. Sarah would say she's grateful, and her teacher, who will save the antagonist, would say Sarah lacks old moderation. So many dramatic possibilities opened up. When we do this, let's look what now remember we said Sarah's sister thinks she's created. You want the readers picture spray? Sarah would think she's grateful, and a teacher says she lacks moderation. So these four different things happening here. It's a dramatic question. One for me would then be well, Does her sister think Sarah's creative because she believes herself not to be? I mean, is some really creative or is her sister? Just think that she's not creative. So, by contrast, cerebral does. What do sour do that makes her sister thinks she's created? And then what would Sarah say? Would so say she was creative all? Would it surprise her sister to think that she is? Because we've already said that Sarah would say remain? Gift is gratitude. So then to hear her that her sister thinks her main bridges, her creativity. How does she feel about that? Does she go home? Yeah, I guess I'm not too. Or is it more of an OEM? I didn't realize what would happen if someone accuses Sarah of a lack of gratitude. This would hurt right, because this trait that she sees is her strength. So if someone accused her of being too rigid, she could agree that she might be like, Well, yeah, you're right. It wouldn't wound her the same way. But if someone said, I don't think you're very grateful when she thinks that is her best trade, that's an issue, not something that we would look at. And then you'd also want to ask. Well, Sarah's teacher, right and thinking Sarah lacks moderation where there's something else going on. If she is right, how are you going to show that played out so we could go on and No, no, no. I mean, there are 1,000,000 dramatic questions you can ask, but the point is that you want to remember. Story is full of different characters going through events. All have different opinions about those and the people who are involved with those one of the biggest ways people go wrong when trying to dramatize. Character is not thinking about these nuances, which is why you end up with black characters, lackluster capped relationships and lifeless plots. 8. 8 Building Strengths into your plot: now that we've gone over variety, although totally by no means all of character traits, let's consider some of the things you want to make sure as you work your character into your story, you want to make sure that you're considering your characters strength in relation to our floors. Remember that your character is a whole person, and you need to decide not only your strength but also her flaws. And when you do this, you want to think realistically about how these strengths and flaws play off one another. Can you make them play off of each other in a way that actually increases drama or the strength and the flaws you have chosen? Realistic if you're strength is humility, and it's unlikely that a flaw be treating others in a condescending way, because that's just kind of contradictory. So you want to look at that and then make sure that there's a consistency. There's a realistic nous to things that you have opted for. 1/3 question. You want to ask when making sure to construe your characters flaws in relation to their strengths is, does your protagonists strength shine a light on another characters? So for example, my protagonist is very generous. Then, when her best friend does not share her cookie, her friend will seen as more selfish than she would have if our protagonist generosity had not been featured. So you know, when you shine a spotlight on a certain gift in one character and then another character doesn't possess that gift, the contrast is really going to show that in that other character. So always remember that you have to think not only about your protagonist or you know, when you were devising a character, you can't just think. OK, let me just think about her strength. It's a ripple effect. You have to think about how that is going to affect the perception of all the characters around her. We also want to consider whether that strength is inherited or earned. So really, consider the ways in which a character thinks about his or her strengths. Someone who has had to work 20 Trade will proceed differently than someone who always inherently have it, and Harry Potter is a great example. He has internal strength, but he also has kind of an inheritance that comes from having these two powerful Wizarding parents he has a legacy of scar on his forehead. So something out of his control as a child gives him a great deal of access when we need him. In the wizarding world, respect from other wizards which may or may not be deserved, he sort of walks into the wizarding world. Everything. It's Harry Potter, and the truth is that he didn't really earn that. Now he he grows into it, he grows into it. But when he's young, he just sort of has these things. And he didn't earn them. It was just a gift of Hiss to include things like his ability to speak to snakes and things like that. Those were inherent, and it's interesting for you to then think about well, how does Harry think about these gifts that are inherited, as opposed to the ones that he really has to work for in the magic that he has to really practice? You also want to think about cultural influences when you're considering trades, there is the culture of your readers and what they consider strengths, and these will often also be the things your character sees its virtues. But then there are also character traits that maybe are seen as strengths in some sort of fictional culture you're creating that we might not actually otherwise think of it. And in this way the character strength you choose support the setting and story world you are created. So it's just it's important to remember that the cultural background and what you re just think of the strength might not be what the culture in your story, thanks up as strengths. And this is even true just historically. When you just look at civilizations, you think about Greek culture and sport of versus Athens. Spartans were really all about war and battle, and none of this art stuff. None of this philosophy, whereas the Fijian model Greek civilization was all about learning all about rhetoric and the arts and things like that. So you just had different cultural perspectives on what strengths are, so you don't want to ignore that you don't want to ignore the culture of your readers your story when you're trying to decide what those strengths should. The final thing I'd like you to think about is the prominence of the strength of your characters. You know what every character is going to demonstrate strengths to different degrees. What I often see is writers feel like they have to make their characters into a hero, and he's got to have a bunch of really obvious strengths. Or it's just not going to works. An album that's actually not true. You can have characters who honestly don't demonstrate a lot really over strength. And there's still the protagonist and we still like Pip from great Expectations comes to mind. He's perfectly fine, although he's rather flawed. But they're really you don't except for having a conscience. You don't really look a pip and think, oh, tips so good at this or that you just do another one would be Jane Austen's Emma Emma is tremendously flawed, and she's a nice and all that good, good hearted. But mostly that book is really about her floors, and yet we still like her. So I don't feel like you have to force a bunch of heroic traits on to your characters because you just don't All right, so let's take a moment and go over your class project. Now that we have covered these things, I have for you handy dandy character strength worksheet, the first page goes over all of the character strength that we outlined in this course, so you can have them in front of you. The second has the questions that we covered in this class, So it's for you to go and then fill these out. When you answer these, it is going to help you immensely to sort of narrow down what the character strength you would like to have our. So what you want to do is for each of your characters. Each of your main characters sort of go down this list. Start to think about what your strength should be. There are a lot more than are just on this list, so don't feel stuck just to this. But what I want you to do is just sort of start to brainstorm. What do I think I want my character strength to be? Then take those strengths and run them through the mail of the questions in parts one and two, and then that will get your creative juices going. That's going to help you think plot things through, and that's also going to help you decide. Those are, in fact, the best traits for your story. There you have it. My suggestions for you on character strength. I hope so much that this was helpful. Thank you to everyone who's been leaving comments in the message boards on my classes. I appreciate it so much. I appreciate your being here once again. If you have not, please go to my website and sign up for my mailing list so that we can keep in touch because I do have class offerings and teachings outside of here. And I would love to share them with you. So please do sign up. Thank you for watching. As always I was she very best of your projects. I will see you soon, Phony.