Reply To: Lesson 2 Go Big or Go Home

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Hi, Ruchama

Your first step is finding a serious flaw (or getting as close as  you can get). And naming it. It’s easy for me to exaggerate elements of your statement to find greed or pride, but I’m not writing the story. Actually naming the flaw is difficult. I suspect most people who say the [name] statements out loud experience a lot of discomfort. Did you try saying, “Daniel is a liar” out loud? Or any of the other statements? That’s a first step. Not necessarily because Daniel IS a liar, but because saying something like that about a friend is difficult. Once a serious flaw is identified (and embraced), using that flaw  for storytelling becomes an option. (These will be explored more thoroughly later in this course.)

Challenges and arguments that probe the character flaw and that readers care about can be formed. Many are likely to suggest external goal challenges and arguments. And, potentially, an ending that is richer can be imagined. This is true even if the identified flaw is dialed back to something less serious.

Knowing out difficult it is to make name statements and assign deadly sins, I’ve provided ways to gently approach more serious flaws in Exercise 2. I hope you give one of them a try. In your case, the lens of “noblesse oblige” seems like a valid way to analyze Daniel’s flaw, but it’s not the only one.


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