How to meld character and story structure together into a plot (even for pantsers)

If you find that your characters run away from you, develop a mind of their own, or passively go along with events instead of affecting them, then this article is definitely for you.

In the Characters article, I discussed how the thing your character Wants is an outgrowth of the Lie he believes and the Inner Wound he struggles against. I also discussed how your character’s pursuit of what he Wants generates your plot, whereas his discovery and acceptance of what he Needs generates your story. In the Story Structure article I talked about plot points, pinch points, etc. This article melds the two; it explains how character and story structure fit together.



Your characters generate your plot. If you’re trying to create a story and then populate it with characters, you will need to custom-tailor your characters to fit your plot. That can be difficult, because a plot is just a story, whereas a character should be quite relatable, human, and engaging. People like stories just fine, but they really connect to characters. It’s a lot easier to create characters and build plots around them than vice versa.



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