Monday, June 28, 2010

TODAY'S NUGGET: Feelin' Sorry for Me

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'.

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