Creating Characters From the Inside Out (Updated Edition) | Lindsey Backen | Skillshare

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Creating Characters From the Inside Out (Updated Edition)

teacher avatar Lindsey Backen, Bringing Stories to Life

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. CC Introduction

    • 2. CC Physical Needs

    • 3. CC Emotional Needs

    • 4. CC Eternity Final

    • 5. CC Purpose

    • 6. CC Unit One Application 1

    • 7. CC Physical Traits

    • 8. CC People

    • 9. CC Outer World

    • 10. CC Your Story

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About This Class

This class is based on the premise that plot is created when a character’s inner beliefs clash with his outer world. A series of videos and worksheets will teach writers a new way of thinking by guiding them through exploring the mentalities of their characters. By asking specific and targeted questions about the belief systems that form the characters’ inner worlds, writers can understand what drives the choices that they make. In unit two, we will explore the people, circumstances, and physical elements of their outer environment. This class will teach you to refine your character’s goals by exploring his purpose. It will guide you in choosing elements to spotlight in his physical environment to help you hone your descriptive skills. Its focus is on developing insight into how your character views his world and makes choices to create a compelling, character-driven plot with enough depth to carry you to the end of your draft or your revision. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsey Backen

Bringing Stories to Life


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1. CC Introduction: Welcome to creating characters from the inside out. My name is Lindsay Bakken. I began writing books 20 years ago, and since then I have worked my way into working as an author, a book designer and a writing instructor. My love of teaching writing has developed over the last 10 years as I've heard the struggles of writers and also helped local friends and local authors find their writing skills. My favorite thing to do is to encourage new writers to go ahead and take the courage and the steps they need to to try and dip their toes in the water and write their first book. I studied musical theater in college, and I've used a lot of the skills to develop a character on stage to convert to key developing characters on the page. Over the years, I've taken several courses on writing myself, and I find that most courses began with the external things, such as what your character looks like and where they live, and then they go down and touch on the internal things such as motivation or backstory. In this class, we're going to flip that idea on its head and start by asking questions about your character's mentality. When you understand your character's basic mentality and belief system, you will automatically begin to know what kind of choices they will make in the events of your story. This class is based on the premise that plot is created when your character's internal beliefs clash with his external reality. And so in order to find a way to drive your story forward and to create a multilayered, believable character that will carry you all the way through to the end of your book, we will use this class to start exploring every aspect of your character's life, beginning with their belief systems. There are no right or wrong answers for your character. The idea is to explore what they believe. I have set up this class to have short videos, usually about 10 minutes that will explain the concept that we're dealing with for the day and then release you to go fill out the worksheet. The idea of filling out the worksheet will give you ideas for your novel that you're currently working on. So I hope that you will be able to use this class as a springboard for your writing sessions and do one lesson each day and then go on and write your book. This class does depend heavily on worksheets, so if you are not a worksheet person, it may not be the class for you. However, these worksheets are not regular worksheets. We won't be dealing with hair color and eye color. We will be answering very specific and targeted questions in order to help you learn to think like your character. At the end of this course, you should be able to go on and write your novel without filling out the worksheets, although you're free to do so if you just enjoy doing that. But the goal of the course is to teach you a new way to think while you're writing and how to ask the questions that are important to your scene as you go along so that you begin to develop a second nature in developing stories as you write them and developing characters that are deep thought out and have multiple layers to them. I developed this course because it was unlike any other writing course that I was able to find. I invite you to join me on this journey to connect to your character, to understand their mentality, and to write a story from the inside out. 2. CC Physical Needs: Our conscious choices are heavily influenced by our belief systems. Your character may or may not be aware of how they developed their belief systems, but they will obey them consistently until and unless some event happens that changes their perspective and shifts their belief system to a new one. This shift will often be part of your plot. But in this class we're going to study your characters existing belief system so that you as the author will know how they will realistically react to any event in your story. Much, if not, all of your story will happen when your character's beliefs system clashes with his or her external circumstances and the expectations and beliefs of the characters around them. To understand more about how the systems work, Let's take a real life example. In the passengers of the Titanic. All of the passengers of the Titanic came from different backgrounds, different cultural beliefs, different levels of income, and different skill levels. However, all of them got onto the boat believing that the boat would safely arrive at it's destination when hitting the iceberg shifts that belief. They are all reduced to pretty much the same circumstances. And none of their skills or background or even wealth as actually going to be able to make much of a difference. However, all of the passengers react differently. Why do you think that is? It's because they were all obeying their internal belief systems, which was driving the choices that they made. The emotional stamps if they were in and how they accepted or did not accept the fact that they are likely going to die. Our core beliefs are developed over the course of our lives. They will often be a blend of truth and lies. Some examples of how these belief systems can be developed would be in phrases that are often repeated. Conclusions that we make about events that happened to us. Things said or done by other people. Observations about nature, relationship with God, and exposure to his ideas, general beliefs of our culture, and topics that are considered taboo or popular opinions. But these beliefs do not exist in a vacuum. All of us are human and so are your characters. Even if your characters are not the species of humans, they will still be exhibiting human-like tendencies, which is how your reader relates to them. Everyone across cultures, belief systems, and walks of life faced the same for basic needs. You have physical needs, which would be food, water, shelter and clothing. At the very least, you have emotional needs, which is finding love, being accepted in society and doing things that satisfy your inner drive. Likewise, we all need to ask the question and answer it of what is our purpose, why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing and what will bring fulfillment? And most people have the need of understanding where we came from as a species and what happens to us when we die. Your character's beliefs system may or may not line up with yours. And likely they will have many, many different aspects and viewpoints, even in the same topics. So our goal today is to explore our characters and understand what they are. Belief systems are, whether good or bad, and how those belief systems may interplay with their external circumstances. So that whenever you are writing your story, you will begin to naturally see the connections and ask the right kinds of questions. We're going to go over a lot of questions today and these do not have to all be written down or answered by you. But the goal is to get you thinking about them and get you into the habit of asking these types of questions. Now, some of these questions your character may not actually have an answer for. They may never have considered them. And it's okay to say, I don't know if your character doesn't know, but do give it a moment of thought to make sure that you have considered what your character might think about this. It's also okay to guess your characters belief system may be shifting as the story goes, or you may discover down the road that they believe differently than what you thought at this point, just do the best you can, relax and have fun with it. And if for some reason a question doesn't apply to you or your character, or is just something that you don't want to deal with. Feel free to skip it. The first section we're going to cover today is looking at your character's physical needs. How does your character obtain his basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and water? The day to day. He cannot go without them. Does he have a job? Is he a wandering person? Does he live off of the territory of someone else? Even if you have a Robinson Crusoe or Robin Hood type character, he will still need a way to fulfill these. Likewise, most likely your character will be exchanging some sort of skills, either for a paycheck to serve an entity, maybe he's part of a government program. We'll be doing something depending on someone, whether it's customers, employers, or even maybe a captor to fulfill these needs. But what skills does he have in his everyday life, moment to moment while he's getting the job done. You might be shocked at how some of the mundane skills will actually take place and play into your storyline. Does your character depend on some person or entity to provide these things for him? If you have a young character who still lives at home, this might be his parents. If you have an older character, he may be depending on himself. But even if he's depending on his own efforts, likely he will be working for an employer. He may be at the mercy of his governmental program. He might be trusting in God or some other deity, the fate universe, or even looking to nature to provide his needs. But think about not only who is providing these needs, but how they may be influencing his life or what expectations they have for him in return. Often the effort that we put into our jobs will not necessarily dictate how much money we make from our jobs. Your character may also have external circumstances that are controlling his quality of life. So take a moment to think realistically from what your characters earning and his external circumstances. What is his quality of life? Can he afford a luxury lifestyle? Is he's struggling to make ends meet. What kind of car would he realistically drive? What kind of clothes could he aware? What kinda close does he need to wear in order to fill whatever his job is? Asking these kind of questions will help you keep in mind not only what your character's surroundings will be, but also begin to clue you in on things that you can mention that will instantly give your reader a way to associate and no, Okay. This person has this type of lifestyle. This person is, well, hey, this person is not. So go ahead and think about those little details that you can start putting in your story where you can instantly give information that you want to get across. Now, let's imagine for a moment that your character suddenly loses the entity that is providing his current lifestyle situation and his current provisions. Let's say there's an act of war, or he loses a job, or he loses a parent for whatever reason. Imagine that right now, his source is cut off. Where is he most likely to turn? Is he going to look inside himself and start hitting the road and try and find another job to replace it. Well, he turned to a government program to help him get through the spot until it gets back on its feet. Is he going to do these things, but he's trusting that God or a different entity will take care of him. Does he think that maybe Carmel will take care of him because he's been a generally good person? Or is it just going to be absolute panic? Likely your character may be depending on a combination of these things. But do take a moment to think about it, what that combination could be, how that would affect the way that he approaches providing for himself in a new way and how that might affect his thought process as he deals with this crisis. Now think, is this somewhere actually part of your storyline? It may be, it may not be, and that's okay. But we're looking for ways to spark ideas to get you going. Lastly, we're going to consider your character's physical environment. This can be anything from the weather and types of natural landscape around him. It can be people that he has to interact with every day. It can be the community at large and the powers that be the authorities. So we're all probably writing for a vast array of storylines and types of genres. So take a moment to think about how your characters greater world may or may not affect his ability to provide for himself the basic needs that he has. All right. Now that we've asked a lot of questions and got your mental juices going. You can go ahead and print out the worksheet on physical needs and go ahead and fill it out while you're thinking about it. 3. CC Emotional Needs: All right, So we all know that no matter what your life circumstances are, your happiness is going to be heavily influenced by the relationships inside of it. And part of that is because you're trying to get your emotional needs met. People have all kinds of emotional needs, not only for companionship, but also for things like feeling secure, feeling loved, proving themselves are feeling successful or accepted by society or their peers. And so your character might be exuberant. They may be very good at showing their emotions about telling people how they feel. Or they could keep it buttoned up inside. They may be a combination depending on who they're with and how much they trust them. But think about your character for a moment and how comfortable they are expressing the level of emotion that they have for good things that happen. Now think about how they express things that are bad, bad emotions when they're fearful, when they're angry. Sometimes people express anger when they don't want to. They wish they could keep it buttoned up, but they can't. Other times, people may be so angry that they don't look angry at all and they shut down. And understanding how your character will react will again help you start understanding in the circumstances of your story what would be a realistic and consistent way to write for him? Does this level of expression change with the level of emotion? So if your character is pretty quiet when he's generally happy, does he talk a lot when He's exuberant? Who does your character vent to when he has a bad day? Taking note of this may actually help you in your plot because it may reveal who the sidekick will be. It may also reveal conflict if he doesn't really have anyone to vent to. But even if it's a small part of the story line 8 will help you identify the kind of social structure and support that your character may or may not have. So take a moment to think about who in his life he can turn to whenever he just needs to talk. When you've done this, consider whether or not this person shouldn't be part of your plot. Not all characters are heavily dependent on other people to fulfill their emotional needs. Your character may have a combination or he may have some sort of hobby or skill that he uses to replace the time that he would normally spend with other characters. If nothing else, he probably has some sort of thing that he does in order to relax and knowing what these things are will give you even more clues about his personality. So be sure while you're asking what your character likes or dislikes, be sure you look at the why he likes and dislikes things. He may not have a reason. It may just be a preference, but often it will be stemmed in something that he wants out of life. And that will give you another clue to add another layer of depth to your plot. Does your character gets satisfaction from his job? His job may not be a big part of your storyline. Maybe the action happens out of the office or wherever he works. But knowing whether or not he gets satisfaction from his job and it's his job is using the skills that he's actually really good at. Well, I'll give you some more to work with. And remember that you're always, always looking for conflict and difficulties and things that he struggles with because it's the struggles of your character That's going to bring the emotional tie to the readers that they're looking for. And it's what's going to allow them to cheer him on. So while you're asking all these questions, look for little things that you can add in that will enhance the difficulties and the growth that your character will go through. And finally, most of us have emotional needs and those needs are or are not met by a romantic counterpart. So take a moment to ask yourself, does your character have a romantic counterpart? Do they have someone they wish? Was there romantic counterpart? Or are they going at it alone? If they're going at it alone, are they happy going at it alone or is it just that there is a lack of potential people around? Or they have some sort of shyness, some reason that they have not approached someone. And these clothes will give you, again more insight on the personality of your character, but also may suggest a character that you can use as a supporting role in your story. And of course, many novels are going to have a romantic plot. So this is the time to delve into who is that person and what kind of conflict might that person have with your characters, current circumstances? According to what you've learned already through this class. I have worked in a theater for a while and I've taken classes on acting and read a lot of books on how actors approach making their characters. One of the things that I learned to do is to look for the motive and the goal in every single scene. So a character's overall goal in the play may not be the same goals that they have any specific part of the play. They also usually have more than one goal. For instance, a character may be trying to keep their romantic counterpart from breaking up with them. So their physical immediate goal would be keep him from walking out the door. But inside they have an even deeper goal, which would be something along the lines of feeling secure, feeling loved. Maybe their self-worth is wrapped up in that person and they need to retain it in this moment. And so now that we've gone through the bigger questions, Let's go ahead and look down to what is the most important emotional goal for your character to feel. Something on the inside. It will usually be something they may want to feel secure. They may want to be successful, they may want to be loved. And one way that you can do this is by writing out any goals that they have here. And then look and say, Well, why did they want to do that? And then write the y here. And many times you'll find that the wise break down into deeper and deeper goals as you, as you ask this question. And it usually will end up with one particular goal that all of these other goals are stemming from. And when you identify that goal, it's the core need is going to give you insight on why your character does every thing that he does and what is motivating his choices throughout your storyline. And again, that's the purpose that we're going through this class together is to get you into the habit of asking these questions of why and seeing the connection between the character's motive and the characters reaction to the, the events that you choose or the events that your character might choose. People are different. Some people are gods of their story and they dictate exactly what happens. My characters are not like that. They're monkeys or children. They have minds of their own and they kinda like to take my storylines that I think I'm writing and run with it. And as a writer, I've learned to let them do that because they usually come up with better solutions than I do. But again, as you're asking these questions, it's going to give you that ability to create a character that feels real, real enough to think on their own and that you understand what their decision would be, even if it's not the same decision that you would make in the same circumstances. Alright, now so go ahead and print out the quick sheet on emotional needs and fill it out. It has just a couple of questions that will help you distill the questions that we've gone over and look at specific things for your character. 4. CC Eternity Final: Hello, Welcome to the rest of the session on exploring your character's beliefs, systems, and inner worlds. Not all characters will be religious, but many of them will have some type of religion. So we will be discussing that today, as well as other ideas and entities that will influence the way your character sees the world at large and sees themselves and their purpose. All mankind has to at least ask the question of, are we a product of intelligent design, or are we a product of chance or some other kind of force? We all do exist. So we have to figure out how did we come into existence and what he believes about how his beginning came into existence may affect the way that he sees himself and the people and creatures around him. So take a quick moment to explore whether your character believes in something like intelligent design or some kind of idea that matter collided and somehow developed and ignited life. Your character may believe the same things you do, and they may not believe the same things you do. It's also possible that your character has not really given much thought to this question, but it is something that will subconsciously influence the way that he thinks and could affect the way that he makes choices about the people around him and what they're worth is as well as what his worth is. So it's a question that's worth your time and consideration and looking into whichever decision you make for your character may not meet necessarily right or wrong. But it will give you a very basic idea of where they're going to come from and how they will react to things like helping out a different character or the choices that they make that's going to influence a different character. And finally, what does your character think might happen to him when he dies? He may not have a set belief about this, or he may have a very strong belief. You may be working in a universe where a character has a different ending than what we would experience here on Earth. But it is important to know when your character is facing those moments of danger, what influences may be playing in the back of his mind? How they will react may depend heavily on what they believe will happen when they die. If they believe that just nothing is happening and it's, it's over, they may react very differently than if they believed that there's an afterlife or that they believed that there is some kind of bad afterlife, that they don't want. Something along the similar lines would be considering whether your character thinks that the world is generally a good place with parts that have gone wrong, or a hostile world with parts that mankind has managed to set bright. It's also possible that he thinks that nature has said it right or the nature has made it go wrong. So take a moment to jot down any ideas that your character may have about the world. And what you're looking for is again, more of a subconscious belief. When he goes out into the world, is he preparing for battle and a struggle or six, expecting that generally people are going to be decent to him, that life will work out for him and that he in the end will actually manage to get what he wants to accomplish. Attitude plays a huge role in the world and day-to-day existence of your character. It's possible for a person who's really struggling with life and external circumstances to still be cheerful and happy because he's confident on a deeper level. It's also possible for a character that has a lot of money and maybe has a nice life on the outside to be miserable on the inside because he's not getting his emotional or spiritual needs met. So take a moment to look at the dynamics that your character is experiencing within the context of his story. Does he generally feel like life is a gift or a curves? His answer to this question again is going to influence the choices that he makes and the reasoning that he uses on order to reach these choices. We already talked a little bit about how the answers to all of these questions will affect your characters belief in other people's goals and worth. But take a moment to apply it to your storyline and see ways that your character is either reaching out to help or harming the other characters goals around him. Does your character have any scenes where he is not looking at his goal, but he's reaching to help someone else meet their goal? Or is your character flip-flops? And maybe it's every man for himself. Maybe he's in a survival scenario where he only has the time to focus on. Staying alive and meeting his personal needs. And he doesn't have the resources or the emotional strength to help anyone else. But looking for moments when your character can empathize and help another character will endure him to your readers and help them identify with him. So take a moment to consider where your novel, you might be able to apply this belief system. Along the same lines. How does your character's answer to these questions affect the way that he's going to respond to danger or even a life threatening situation. And remember, a life threatening situation can also be more of an emotional thing than a physical thing. Maybe you're writing a novel where your character is in a war situation, or he's got someone after him, physically trying to kill him. Or maybe he's got someone who's after his job, who's trying to smear his reputation, who wants to shut him up about something. And even if they don't physically take his life, they're doing their best to destroy everything that his life is made up of, to take away his job, to force him out of his home, to do keep him from his family. So take a moment to consider how his belief system is going to affect the way that he responds to the dangers and the situations in his life. Another thing you're going to want to take a moment to explore. If your character does serve some sort of deity or God is the nature of his relationship with that deity. What rituals and rules does the deity have for his followers? Is it a fear-based a relationship where maybe your character serves the deity but doesn't really have a relationship. Rather than trying to not make him angry. How well does your character know the deity? A character that has a relationship with the deity is going to find that it infiltrates every aspect of his life. And if he likes the deity and believes the deity loves ham, that he's going to have a different kind of relationship and can even have another source of comfort and sustaining stability that might add some color and influence to your story. Likewise, what does your character have been told about this deity by other people? Life is full of conflicts and sometimes people may say one thing and act another. And that's going to influence the way that your character sees that God or deity and believes what the deity thinks about him. If you can. And if your character does serve a deity, go ahead and write one sentence about what he thinks about this deity and also what the deity thinks about him or what he believes the deity thinks about him. This may not be a component that you have put into your story and it's a component that I had decided I wasn't going to really write for when I was younger. But I found that when I decided to go ahead and give the character a god, and this one is based on a real relationship with God, which I have. But it said slightly different name. It's slightly different story slant. So it's almost their version of how they understand him. And that choice added a whole layer of depth and color and a character arch of learning for my character that was lacking in the book before. It. Because as a character confronts the lies that have been told and understands that the deity is kind and gracious toward him. It starts to influence every aspect of his life and change his style of leadership and the ways that he pursued his goals. Likewise, he's serving a counter force which also has somewhat of the weight of a deity that is very demanding, very rule oriented, and very eager to chastise anyone who deviates from its rules. And the character has a very complex and almost unhealthy relationship with this force because he's trying to fulfill it, believing that if he fulfills it perfectly, it will step in and protect him. But if he fails to place it or fulfill it, it's going to withdraw its favor and he'll be left out on his own. So when I added this to my story, it added two subplots and a lot of layers of intersection and character growth. So whatever that looks like in your story, or even if it's not in your story, take a moment to consider what might happen if you did put in some sort of force or deity that is coming from beyond the day-to-day circumstances that your character can see with his own eyes. If you want help print out the worksheet for the eternity section and go ahead and fill it out. Or if you just want to ask them immensely, that's fine too. But go ahead and do it. And I recommend that you try not to do more than one unit in one day. So see how these questions can apply to the writing that you're doing today on your novel. Go write your novel and come back when you're ready. And we will be exploring your character's purpose. I'm very excited about the next unit on purpose because it plays very heavily into the goals of your storyline. And the goals of your storyline is going to be what drives your character forward. So we're going to have all kinds of fun with that and be sure you don't miss it. 5. CC Purpose: Hello, welcome back. Today's lesson is very important to your plot line because we're going to be exploring your character's purpose. Most of us want more than just working a job and providing for ourselves. We want to feel like we're making a difference in the world, and your character is no exception. Especially for main characters who will need to have a goal accomplished, as well as personal growth by the end of your story. This is doubly important to understand what your character's purpose is. Even if your character is on a journey to find his purpose, so take a moment to think about your character. What does he want to contribute to other characters lives? Why would this be important for him and when he's working on contributing to their lives? What emotional fulfillment is he trying to meet in his own life? Is it a sense of importance? Is it a sense of wanting to be a leader? Is it wanting to feel like he's a good person? Or maybe he's compensating from something in his past, overcoming guilt or trying to find a place? Many times people will do things just to be accepted by other people and even people who are focused mostly on outer circumstances and what they want to do for others. Everyone has a personal need. So can you think of a goal that would only really benefit your character and not necessarily the people around him? But that is important enough for him to pursue. It could be something like mastering a skill or winning a competition. It could be getting a job that he really likes. And even though other characters would be positively affected if he reached his goal, for the most part, they're not going to be negatively affected if he does not. He will be the only one who knows that he did not meet that goal and deal with the consequences of not meeting that goal. Which brings me to another point while you're considering the results that will happen if your character reaches the goal, which is what's going to motivate him. Also, consider what the consequences are if your character does not reach that goal. Both the consequences and the rewards will be motivating factors and often consequences could be even more motivating than a reward. All right, so you know what your character's goal is now? Think about what does he need to accomplish and what skills does he require to have in order to meet that goal? It helps to jot down a quick list of all of the skills, maybe even things you wouldn't necessarily think of, like the ability to talk to people, to make new acquaintances, to connect things, as well as run a copier or work on a computer. If you were filling out a job description for this job, what kind of skills would you require and potential employee to know? Now, go back through Megan An on the skills that your character does well and a check mark on the skills that he doesn't do as well or may not do at all. Because these check marks are what's going to give you a chance to find conflict for him, a chance to make him rely on another character for those skills that he needs or a challenge that he's going to have to meet as he learns how to do these skills. Finally, characters are a lot like people, and some of us are very intuitive about life and the inner worlds and emotions that we experience. Some are not. Some people just work and do the next thing that they're expected to do, and they're OK with that. So what you need to explore now is whether or not your character feels like he has a calling on his life. First of all, where did this calling come from, or who did it come from? Secondly, is your character currently doing anything that will meet this calling? And thirdly, is the story about your character meeting this calling if it is most likely at the beginning of your story? He will be in a situation where he's not necessarily fulfilling his calling, and he'll have to make some changes in order to find it. It's also a right to write a story about a character that's trying to find his place in the world. Maybe he doesn't really know what he wants to do with his life, and he's out. Exploring wherever your story plot leads you is just fine. We're just asking questions to help you understand the aspects of your own story. So feel free to tailor any of these questions to your character and your story or modify them if you need. If this call is part of your storyline, does it create a more exciting story to keep it part of your storyline as your character goes through everything to achieve it? Or would it make your story more exciting to take it away? Maybe your character is doing what he feels he was meant to do at the beginning of the story, and he loses that. Then he'll have to start all over questioning his own life, discovering the new skills he'll need to do the next thing. Remember that no matter what issues you're writing about, some of your readers are going to really connect with it. And it might be a story close to one that you have experienced yourself, or it can be one that you are completely opposite of. Maybe you're kind of living through your character. All right. So now you can go through the questions that we've worked on in this segment and fill out or jot down your answers. I hope that this gives you all kinds of ideas today as you're tackling your novel and after you're done answering the questions. I hope that you are full of inspiration and excitement and will leave this course and go work on your novel for the rest of the time that you have to write today. Come back tomorrow or the next time you can and will go on to the next segment. We're getting very close to the unit. Will I will show you even more details about how to take all of these questions that you've been exploring and rack them together to find more about your plot and fill out the details and layers of the plot that you already have. 6. CC Unit One Application 1: So now that you've spent a couple of units looking at your character's core beliefs and the events and people that are influencing them. We're going to consider how at the beginning of your book, these belief systems have already influenced to your story. Which ones have been written in before we started this course? And are there any that you found that you can add? Again, novels are all about conflict and your character's growth as he overcomes the conflict. So now we're going to play the part of the bad guy. And we're going to identify four different ways that your character's core beliefs clash with what you know so far about his environment. Think about if he has people in his life who had goals that conflict with his own goals. These could be people that he loves, such as spouse or family members that want him to stay nearby. Or it could be a rival or enemy who has the same goal or a different goal that he is somehow preventing. Does your character have any moral beliefs that he feels very strongly about that would clash with the people in his vicinity. Is there a place of dissidents in your character's life where he feels like he should be doing one thing. Like he was meant to do something. But in reality, he is just in survival mode and he's not doing the thing that he actually feels he has capable or called to do. Often when you're writing, there will be a mental shift for your character as he grows and changes his view points. Most of the time, this will be because some time in his life he began to believe a lie about himself. So take a moment to jot down a couple of lies that your character may have been told about himself. He is accepted as the truth. Then explore how you can work these lies into your current storyline and explore the things that would need to happen in order for your character to identify, understand, and change these lines. Finally, go back to your very main story line, the one that you had when you were you started this course. Make a short mental list of all the things that would need to happen for your character to reconcile his core beliefs to the goals that he has in this story. What would he need to overcome in order to reach those goals? Are they more physical problems or the mental problems or the emotional problems, or are they involved in their relationships around him? Bonus points, if you can take one answer to these questions and figure out a way to make it even harder for your character. Remember that your readers are going to want something to cheer your character on. And one of the things you can do in order to keep your story interesting, driven and full of storylines that will gave all the way to the end of your book is pylon its problems. Alright, so we have made it to the end of the first unit on character core beliefs. Remember that we're working with the premise that a character's core beliefs are going to drive his choices. And when the core beliefs and choices clash with his external environment. That's where we're going to get the plot, the conflict and growth that you're looking for. So in the next unit, we are going to flip around that plot line. And we're going to start examining your characters, external circumstances in details that we can come in from the other angle and find even more things to drive and develop your plot. 7. CC Physical Traits: Hello, Welcome back to Unit 2 of creating characters from the inside out. We've spent all of unit one looking at your character's internal world and discovering how they have developed the mindsets, ideas, and Outlook that's going to affect the way that they see the story. We're working under the premise that plot can be born when a character's internal belief systems clash with his external circumstances. So what is your character's external world? That's what we're going to spend unit to looking over. An external world covers a lot of ground. Everything from your character's appearance, the people that he interacts with, to the governments that might influence his day-to-day life. In order to keep this class effective and short, I'm going to skim and just mention many external factors. But in the worksheets, we're going to look at very targeted questions that you can ask about your character that may spur other questions that will help you as you go through your novel. Unit B is broken up into three sections. In the first section, we will look at a character's physical world, including the way he looks and he physical abnormalities that he may have to contend with during your story. The second unit we're going to explore his relationships with other people, characters from his best friend all the way to government entities that might affect his day-to-day life. And finally, in the last unit, we're going to explore your character's physical environment. Your story may or may not be affected by things such as whether the type of place that your character lives. But we're going to spend some time exploring how that could influence your story, as well as bigger overarching themes that may be affecting the place that he lives at the time of your story. Today, we're going to start looking at what many people will begin a course with, which is your character's physical appearance, as well as things that affect his day to day life. You could fill out an entire worksheet just on how your character looks. But for sake of this class and brevity, we're going to consider the most important elements of your character's physical features. And the way we're going to do that is to ask the question, what do people first to notice when they look at your character? Assuming that a stranger who doesn't know your character's motives, goals, or anything about him, is going to look at him what, what he perceived first, what physical appearances would HE describe if asked to describe your character. Honing in on these details will help you know what to highlight, as well as understanding more about how your character may get a response from people that they approach. Along these lines. Does your character have any physical traits that affects the way he moves, takes action, performs a task. This can be something such as being extremely tall or short, which would affect how he would be able to breach something on a top shelf. It could be a physical handicap or abnormality that he has to contend with on a regular basis. Or it could be something that would tell you more about his personality. Maybe he is ansi any twitches a lot. Maybe he's a highly energetic person or a very lethargic person. If you can identify ways to clue your readers in through your character's actions, you will be giving them a shortcut to understand a large amount of material about your character without having to go into an entire paragraph to do it. This next one is one of my favorites and it's something I've been guilty of. How many times have you watched a show or read a book or a character is hurt in a scene. And then in the next thing he's fine. Like he could go rescue somebody and get shot and then show up at work the next day. So think about your character during the time of your story. If He sustains any injuries or illness that will affect the way that he's able to do things in the immediate or long-term aftermath of that story. Sometimes this will be annoying because it might interfere with what you have planned for your character. But see, instead of how you can make the injury less, say how the injury itself could be a factor and could be a subplot that will play into that scene and make it all the more hard for your character to conquer what he's doing, but also give the reader a better chance to connect with him and sympathize with him. How has your characters, eating habits and lifestyle affected his physical limitations or abilities? If you have a character who's working a desk job, he's going to struggle if he turns into a superhero and rushes to aid someone, not to say that he can't. But you need to keep that in mind in the senior writing so that you can realistically write it. Likewise, if your character is dealing with the war situation or somewhere where he doesn't have a lot to eat or a good quality of food to eat, he may be feeling lethargic. Again, there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but do take a moment to think about what does your character normally like to eat and how could that affect him even if it's not physically apparent, what did the damaging him internally in any ways that might play into your storyline. Lastly, see how you can integrate these questions into your story by exploring how your character feels emotionally about the answers that you've written down. Does he have any things that bother him? Is he proud of something that he can do? Is there any fodder in there that's going to allow your reader to jump up and say Me too, and find a character that feels like a could be them or it could be one of their best friends. Because that's what you're looking for is the threads of humanity that are going to connect your character to your reader. All right, Now it's time to rewind to the baby version of your character, or at least a small child, and consider how has his culture influence the ways that he might act or move? Does he come from a culture or even a family that encourages talking a lot or being silent? Has he ever had reasons to sneak around and baby developed very good skills and being stealthy. Is he a character who's easily excitable and has difficulty staying still? Or maybe he's a character who naturally has difficulty staying still. But he grew up with an overbearing mother who forced him to stay still. And now he's developed fidgeting habits in order to redirect his attention. All right, and for all you fashion people out there, It is time to consider your characters wardrobe. Your character will have two kinds of clothes and his closet, one is a closed that he wears out of obligation. Could be a school uniform. It could be something for work. It could even be that black suit and tie he keeps on hand just in case there's a funeral. He also has closed that he chooses to wear and the clothes that he chooses to wear will tell us much about his personality as the clothes he's forced to wear may tell about his job. So take a moment to consider what you would see if you open your characters closet. Does he have lots of shoes or just a couple? Does it matter to him if issues are expensive and name-brand or will anything do the job? Does he have any air loans that were passed down to him from a father or grandfather or something symbolic that he keeps on his person. Does your character smoke or to gum? What's going to be in his pockets. Obviously, you're not going to want to describe your characters entire closet unless that somehow plays directly into your story. But take a moment to decide if your story was taking place on stage or on a movie. You were in charge of picking his outfit. What outfit would you pick that would tell the reader how your character works? That is the outfit that you want to choose to highlight in the text of your story. Now that we've looked at how your character looks, we're going to see what happens when he opens his mouth. Remember that character's dialects are heavily influenced on where they live. But their accents are often created when their children, and not necessarily by the accents of their parents, as much as the children that they are around. So if your character goes to school with his peers who don't have the same accent as his parents. It may be that he picks up the accents of that or he hears around him more than the traditional accident of his family. Consider whether your character has paid attention to how his accent sounds. Maybe he doesn't like his normal accent and he's worked very hard to change it. Or maybe he works in a job such as being a radio host where he has learned to develop and hone his voice. However, your character speaks will not be wrong. Just make sure you know what it is and keep it consistent in the book. It's also helpful to consider the tone that your character uses and whether his voice is naturally pleasing or an pleasing to hear for the people who have to listen to him. Because that will affect the way that they approach him and that they respond when he approaches them. Could your character speech patterns influence the way that people react to him in either a good or bad way. We all have that favorite accent that we wish that we spoke and were intrigued when someone who really speaks it comes up. Likewise, your characters accent could work against him. If it's something that is not the same accent as people around and it's associated with a bad connotation. He might be judged on his level of education simply because of the way he talks, regardless of his mental ability. Also take a moment to decide how your character chooses. His words when he approaches. Is the very charming, is he's shy. How would he interact with a stranger? Does he know how to get the response he's looking for or does he fumbled his way around? Does your character speak more than one language? This may not play into your story, or it could be something that he uses to impress a date. It could be something that you know about your character that other people don't. So he might understand a conversation that's going on around him that they don't think that he can understand. If he speaks several languages, we're going to fill instantly that he's an intellectual type, or perhaps even a spy. You might also consider a scene where the character speaks the language or the dialect of someone from a people group that he's not part of. And this can be used either to establish empathy with them, such as that he's going out of his way to make them comfortable or to identify with them. Or he might fumble as he speaks, maybe he's learning their language. But either way, can you use it to give information about your character, to create empathy with your character, or just to color a scheme. And finally, does your character have any favorite sayings or phrases? This would be a great time to look back in your family's history and find those odd things that seems so normal to you that some of your friends laugh, dot or looked at you weird, whatever you said the first time. It could be a great way to add humor to your book and help your character or your narration develop its own style. 8. CC People: Welcome back to creating characters from the inside out. Today we're going to look at something that I hope gives you all kinds of ideas for your stories. And that's exploring the people in your character's life. Your character has all sorts of people that are influencing its life from the very distant politicians who are making choices that affect his day-to-day life, to his wife or children or family or roommates that yes, interacting with. So you can look at the characters in your character's life into different categories. And they're both going to influence the way that he makes decisions. The first people are those who have influences on him. They are able to make decisions that will affect him and he may not have any say in what those decisions are. For those types of people. Consider everything from a government entity to his boss at work, to possibly his spouse who has a mind of their own and can make decisions that he's going to have to either live with or go with. Likewise, your character is going to be heavily motivated by the people who are depending on him and who are going to be influenced by his choices. And this can be everything from its fee as children or workers that are under him. So we're very quickly going to go through the possible people that might be influencing, swaying, or just making his life more difficult as he's going through the storyline that you've decided for him. And we're going to go all the way back to his family of origin. I'm using family of origin for the people that were in charge of him and around him, influencing him day-to-day as he was growing up. This could be his biological family or it could be a family that he chose or family that was assigned to him. But this family of Origen will have been forces that shaped his very first impressions of morality of what he thinks is right and wrong. They might have traditions from their culture or just from their family that he still carries with him. You're also going to be exploring your character's backstory, which might be incidents that influenced the ways that he interprets the world around him now lies that he's believed or even good influences. Maybe he looks back on a parent or a grandparent or a friend or teacher or mentor who has told him something and it's past. This is going to come into his head and rally him up to do the things that you are trying to get him to do in the story. Likewise, he might be carrying scars, either physical or emotional. And these scars and might still be affecting his, his self confidence or the ability that he has to do the things he wants to do. We don't really get to pick our family of origin. But as we grow older and we start developing the world around us, we do have people that we choose to be in our lives. And the most obvious choices of those are going to be your friends. Your character probably has friends and they probably are going to be somewhat of a sidekick role. So they are worth going in and really developing. They're going to be treated as real people with their own emotions, their own goals. And sometimes those emotions and goals and may be conflicting with your character's emotions and goals. Or they might be on the same course. So maybe they can band together. Your friend may have something that they are able to contribute to your character or vice-versa. Your character's choices may be affecting your friend in good or bad ways. On the other hand of that, you have the romantic partner. Your character may have a steady romantic partner or maybe wanting to have a romantic partner, or maybe they don't have one. But your romantic partner likewise is going to be very influenced by the choices that your character makes. And they will probably have a lot of influence over your character, over their actions and deeds. So take a moment to explore the kind of relationship that your character has with their significant other. One of the ways to find out who is your character's best friend is to consider who does your character vent to when he has a bad day? Who does your character most want or need to please? Many times this might be your character's best friend or their romantic partner, or maybe even themselves. But this is also a good question to look and see who is influencing your character and who might have strings that they could pull that aren't necessarily good or healthy for your character. Does your character have to appease a boss? Does he may have to make sure that his choices don't anger the wrong person. And so considering this may give you ideas for another plot that you can enter into your story or just raised the stakes of your existing plot. Now these following questions You can do either for your characters best friend or his romantic interest, whichever serves your book the best. Or you can do it for both. The less, take the spotlight off of your main character and swing it over to this other person. What does this other person do that makes your main character's life better. And while you're considering that, no one is perfect. So what does this character do that makes your character's life worse? And can you use these ideas into enhance your plot? On the other hand, what is a way that your character could sacrifice himself, his dreams, or some moment in your story for his friend or his romantic partner. Understanding this question will help you understand more of his motivations, but also may reveal a better part of his character that you can bring to the forefront and highlight. Even if your character has the type of personality that doesn't necessarily usually sacrificed himself for anyone. Consider, if you did work that into your story and he had this moment where he went against what some natural, if it would make your story better. And if it doesn't skip it and go on along those lines, how can your main characters, friend or partner, sacrifice themselves for your main character? Again, this doesn't have to be part of your story line, but it could be. And think about if your characters friend or a romantic partner might have any similar moments. Not that they have to Died for Your character, but they could do something That's going to come out of left field and surprise the reader that helps your character gain his goal. This could be a spouse or children. It could be people that he works for that are under his position, or it can be someplace that he's in a leadership role for his community or other citizens. So consider, first of all, is your character in this role for anyone? And then how would those people be affected while your character is focused on getting the goal of the story? And does that raise the stakes that he's going to have to take into consideration while he's finding a solution. Are there any more enemies that could arise out of his decision that makes things worse for these people. And if your character is in a leadership role, it may be that he is calling against a leadership role above him. So take a moment to consider, is there anyone from a parent to a government entity who can punish or penalize your character if he breaks the rules. These could be roles such as laws, or it could just be the unspoken expectations that this person has for your character. But if your character knows that there's a danger of breaking this role or making this choice that can add excitement and momentum to your story. And you're always looking to raise the stakes that will leave your character breathless, concerned, and invested in the outcome of your character's goals. And finally, something that will add a component of reality to your story is to consider who in his life thinks they have the right to say what he should think or how he should act. Maybe it's his great aunt who's worried about the way that the family will look. Maybe it's a bossy girlfriend or a bossy boyfriend. Maybe it's a society pressure or sun overall ideal that he is expected to have just because of where he lives or the groups that he's associated with. When you're exploring this, you can find another source that could be potentially storylines in your character or a chance to show his strength of mind and that he is an independent thinker. Or likewise, that he goes along with it. So you can take this either way, you can add a moment of humor by bringing in such a character. Or you could add to the tension by bringing in a character. It really depends on what you're writing and what your goals are. So I hope that going through these questions with you today has helped you consider how your character is going to be influenced and has given you some great ideas for a story plots. Now what you're going to do is go ahead and print out and go through the questions that we've been discussing and write in as much detail as you can. Any ideas that you have. Usually going with your gut will be a very good choice. And you might write some things down that you didn't see coming whenever you're done with the worksheet, consider, is there anything at all of that information that sparks your imagination? And if it sparks your imagination, there's a pretty good chance that there will be a place for it in your story. So go ahead, fill out your form and get back to your story. But don't forget to come for the very last unit on the external world of your character, where we're going to look at everything from the weather outside to the physical components that make up the world that he lives in. After we do that, we're going to look at how to take all of the information that you've gathered and how to combine it then with his physical world and his mental world. Put them together and see how they can clash. 9. CC Outer World: Hello, welcome to the last lesson and creating characters from the inside out. Today we're going to explore everything from his immediate environment all the way out to national problems or landscape issues that may affect his plot. You're going to be considering a lot of information today through our class and also through the worksheet. Remember, don't get overwhelmed. Your goal in doing all of this is not to feature every aspect of the world to your readers. It's to hone in and pull out those specific things that you can feature in your novel. Kind of like shining a spotlight on something. You can approach this in a similar way that you would to write a mystery novel where you highlight important facts but don't make them too obvious. Your goal in all of this is first to create a rich backdrop for your story and to make the places that your character goes and the things that he does feel real. Your other goal is what it always is, which is to keep an eye out for ideas and inspiration that can spark a subplot or enhance your main plot. Something that can help you understand your character's backstory better or enhances personality, is to think about what is your character's most important possession? What is the one thing in the world that he would least want to lose? And this doesn't need to be an item, not a person. So go ahead and let your character be selfish. Now consider what would happen if he did that, lose it. Does that spark a storyline? It could. How comfortable is your characters home? Is he well off? Does he make enough money to easily provide for his daily needs? Does he have enough to eat? Is the house a comfortable temperature? Does he have a large space or a small space? And after you've explored these ideas, think about how your character feels about his home. We know that attitude influences a great deal. And someone can be very content in a home that may not appeal to someone else. Likewise, you can live in a home that's very comfortable and still be very unhappy with your life. So consider these as two separate questions and see what your character thinks about at all. What sort of Education did your character receive, and what skills did it give him? These can also be treated as two separate questions in that sometimes we don't actually do the skills that we learned in education, or we may be very skilled and something with no formal training in it at all. But exploring these ideas will help you understand more about what your character skills are, whether or not they're actively being used in your story. You can also consider whether during the time he was receiving the education, if that would prime him with any mentalities that he may encounter while running into another character, what would he do? He ran into someone from a rival school or has his profession and trained him to be suspicious of another profession. You want your character to reflect real life. And real people sometimes start working that job that they want right off. But often they'll be working a job while they're trying to get to where they want to go. That's not necessarily their ideal. So where does your character work and how did he end up working in his current role? What do you choose another if he had the opportunity? Is he working toward another or has he given up? Many novels don't include a character in their workspace. But they could. So consider whether or not any of your scenes from your story could actually take place at a character's work spot. And whether or not his co-workers may play into his storyline. What does your character's job pay? Does he have any other sources of income? Knowing what his average income is will help you understand, uh, what kind of life he can realistically afford. Is he a character that depends on debt in order to fulfill a lifestyle? Or is he pretty good at living within his means? What does life look like when he lives within his means? By exploring how closely his life appears to match his bank account, you might discover some details about his character and what's important to him. All right, so now we're moving beyond, uh, characters in immediate world to study the things that are out of his control, such as his physical environment. When he walks outside, what does he see? Is he living in a suburban area, a big town? Does he live in the countryside? While you are exploring these factors, explore the other details of how that will affect his day-to-day life is the air clean? Or is it making him cough? How likely is he to step on gum or see an assault? And does he write a train, a bus, or take his card of work? Does he even have a car? Asking these questions as you write your narration will help you enhance the story on your very first draft so that you have more description that creates a scene for your character. Remember many people only picture what you have described. And while you don't want to get so much description that you lose sight of the storyline. You need enough to give your reader a really good idea of where your character is. Remember, we're looking for conflict. So net, Let's now consider what is the most dangerous part of where your character limps. Does he have more to fear from people or animals, or maybe traffic? Do any of these dangers plane to your storyline? Or could any of these dangers create an instance in your storyline, some obstacle for him to overcome, or maybe a chance to meet his true love. On the other side. What is your character's favorite spot? This might be a good writing exercise for you just to get to know your character. Place them in a spot where they are relaxed and comfortable, where thoughts can flow freely. And let yourself write their thoughts. By writing their thoughts, you are understanding better how they analyze the world, what they might be thinking or hiding. But also you will get a better idea of their voice, the way that they think and the natural narration that goes in through their head. This will help you, not only in your description if you're writing from the first-person, but also to really hone in on your characters dialog and create a realistic flowing speech patterns that won't distract your readers. And it sounds like it really comes from a person. We all have the lights we make, and we all have factors that come out that we don't have much control over. So now I want you to expand way out and think about your characters culture, specifically people in authority, everyone from the bosses that they report to daily, to local law enforcements that keep the peace or the government entities that have the power to make decisions that are going to affect your character's life, the laws that he has to keep, and the income that he gets. Do any of these factors affect his daily choices? And if so, how? While you're on this, think about are there any local or national events that are influencing or effecting your character's ability to carry on his daily life, to reach the goal of the story. All of these are great ways to spark plot and to get ideas that you may not have had before. Now it's time to print out your worksheet for today. Go through it thoughtfully and remember to ask yourself on every question. Does this spark an idea for a plot line? When you get ready to work on your story today, I want to challenge you to see how well this course is working for you. And as you write your story, began to ask questions that pertain to whatever you're writing. See what kinds of questions you can come up with on your own as you write. That's going to enhance your writing and carry your story into the next chapter. We're going to have one more unit together where we're going to explore how to apply all of these concepts specifically to your story. I want to make sure that you finish this course on a strong note with a good idea of what you want to write, where your story is going, and several ideas for subplots that you can enhance into your story. Whether you're writing it for the first time or you're revising a current novel. Thank you for joining me and I'll see you one more time in our final lesson. 10. CC Your Story: Hello, welcome to the last unit where we are going to hone in on your story. By now, I hope that you're well into your novel, but it helps to have an overview of what you're going for. In my own writing, I tend to have a general idea of the storyline. But often when I plot ahead of time, my story will deviate. Because of this, I've created a flexible plot line, which will be in another class where I use sticky notes that I'm able to layer and also move around because I know my plot line will change. So remember that your answers today do not have to be your final answer or a map to the end. But it does help to know that you have a comprehensive story and if there's any gaps. So I'm going to explore today your story and ask you questions that you can answer. First of all, who is your main character and what is his goal? This should be pretty apparent by now, but do take a moment to jot down the answer. Now consider your side character. I'm going to assume that there's more than just a romantic partner in your story. Remember that your side characters are going to have their own goals. And see as you go through how your character's goals can either enhance or conflict with your main character's goals. We did not spend a lot of time in class exploring the romantic side of your plot. But go ahead and take some time to explore the romantic partner of your main character. And remember that they also have goals that will conflict and enhance your characters plots. This can be a great subplot. So take a moment to explore what they want in their relationship with your partner and whether or not your partner will be able to easily give that to them. In some ways. He or she probably will. And in other ways they're really going to struggle. Remember, it's okay to give your character flaws, flaws or what makes them real and makes the reader identify with them. So don't worry about having to have this perfect character. People will like your character more because they are realistic and flawed. And now that you have a clear idea of your character's goals, consider what is stopping them from getting the goals. You should hopefully have a main arch of story. And then a couple of subplots that you can weave in and out of the main story. These subplots can be huge factors in the story, or maybe just a little desire that one person has that will be met at the end of your tail up to you, you've considered what is the greatest obstacle. Consider who is the greatest obstacle? And remember, this will be a better story if this person is fleshed out. So while you want to make sure you're not glorifying or creating a character who's not doing the right thing as some kind of hero, you do want to know why they're doing, what they're doing, and make a realistic motivation for them, whether or not that motivation is a good motivation or not. So let's take a moment to talk about potential subplots that you can use. Are there any characters that your character can help or rescue along the way? This will help the reader see that your character is rooting for the underdog and make them more likable, as well as providing perhaps another character to interact with the story and folds. Are there any inner desires that your character has, perhaps to win a competition or to prove themselves to a person, or to develop a skill that they don't have. What is the way that your character can grow and change through the story? Are there old Hertz he can overcome? Can he change the outer circumstances of his story from what they are into what he wants them to be. What emotional change can happen with your character. If at the beginning he's just in survival mode or perhaps a bit selfish or scared to do something. Can he overcome those obstacles and develop a better part of his character, develop a stronger part of his personality, and learn to do things that he wouldn't be able to do at the beginning of the story. And finally, what does your character learn? How does his mentality change? What are the sentences that repeat in his head at the beginning of the story versus the sentences that are beginning to unfold and take root at the end of the story. All of these things can be used and all of them shouldn't be used at one time. So see which ones speak to you and spark your imagination. See what other kinds of plots you can come up with. And to remember that no one can write the book that you write. This is something that I learned from Dr. Caroline Leaf, who is a neuroscientist. She brings up the fact that everyone approaches life using the same ways of thinking. But in a different set, you might be stronger thinking of one area than you are in another. And because of this, on top of the skills that you've developed and the history that you've had. No one is going to write the book that you writing. So even if you have the same idea or story line as someone else, maybe you're rewriting a fairy tale or you're using just a common theme in books. Remember that it will be uniquely yours when you are finished. Of course, you don't want to go off and steal another author's theme and follow it. Exactly. But you don't have to, because you are capable of coming up with a storyline and having characters and seeing the world through their eyes, which is also going to be influenced by yours. So that you can come up with a neat, unique plot. I am very excited. See where you go. And if this course has helped you and you have ideas on how to make it better or specific things that really worked for you. Please let me know so that I can make these courses better as I go along. And I'd love to hear about you and your novel. So thank you for joining me in creating characters from the inside out. I'm Lindsay back in and I wish you the absolute best with your novel, that your pen will never run dry and your ideas will never run out.