15.16: Balancing Plot and Character

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

We’re often asked how to balance character arcs with the intricacies of the plots we create. In this episode we talk about the various ways in which we do this.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Create a three-pillar mythos for your character: What do they fear, what do they want, and what are they willing to do to get what they want. Then give them a mantra, or a code by which they live.  Then create a scenario in which the mantra and the pillars collide, and something’s got to give.

Chernobyl, the 2019 HBO miniseries starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson

One thought on “15.16: Balancing Plot and Character”

  1. On the tightrope, balancing character arcs and plot tension, we have Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard putting their thumbs on the scale to help with that feather… Talking about three big questions, how do you balance plot/pacing and character scenes, how do you decide whether to emphasize plot or character, and how do you create strong emotional responses. Lots of little bits of advice on the scales, so go read all about it in the transcript now available in the archives.

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