I believe there are four key components that make up a plot: lead character, objective, conflict, and resolution. Everything, therefore, begins with your lead character.

The thing is, though, that's not how I've planned my stories in the past. Usually I plan my stories like this: I see a story I enjoy, and then I imagine how I would tell it in my own way. Typically, with enough imagination, I then end up with a story that looks very different than what I was inspired by.

I think that's a fine approach; there's no such thing as a wrong way to plan a story, and that process has worked for me, but in recent memory I've wanted to practice what I preach a little more and develop a plot without basing it on a pre-existing story. Therefore, I need a character.

But how do I start? There are endless possibilities for what this character could be – each resulting in a vastly different story. How do I decide which path to follow?

I typically develop characters with a series of interview questions. I follow a path of questioning until it leads me to philosophies, traits, physical traits, mannerisms, or other little details. Maybe I could apply the interview to myself and allow each aspect of my personality to lead to a different person entirely. That's an artistic way of doing it – allow your characters to embody you in a way. I'm not wholly sold on it though; I wanna know what you guys think.

Source: reddit post


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