I'd like to talk today about feelin' sorry. (And if I can get you to feel sorry for me, all the better.)
Recently, I read in an article that the top 3 techniques to get to the emotional core of a character is pathos (feelin' sorry), humanity & admiration.*
Pathos is the quickest way of the three. (It happens to be my favorite & I'm not apologizing for it. So there.)
But how do you write pathos?
For those of you who have the magazine, go read the article & its well thought out answers.
For those who don't, you have the rest of this blog. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)
So here's my two cents: I firmly believe that sympathizing with a character requires showing a FLAW. I've written about it in several places, but it all boils down to feelin' sorry for the sad sap ...who's got problems just like you & me.
But you knew that b/c you're a regular blog reader, right?
[What do you mean you haven't been reading my blog? For all that's holy, do it now, man, NOW!
Flaws vs. Goals vs. Motives
Honestly, What Is Your Flaw?]
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I like feelin' sorry, b/c that means the character has something really at stake, and thus has an arc to travel.
* The article is "Pixar's Emotional Core: The Secret to Successful Storytelling," Creative Screenwriting Magazine, May/June 2010, by Karl Iglesias, p. 54-57. He's also written a book, "Writing for Emotional Impact."
And no, I am not being paid to write about this article. Just sayin'.