How to tell a story: The character part

The best characters are contradictions. They sit in these intersections between one extreme and another.

  • The tough dude with a big heart
  • The sadistic killer who tells jokes
  • The nerdy professor who turns into a suave crooner

It’s such a formula that these characters now have stereotypes of own. In other words, the formula works.

So if you’re creating a character (or trying to highlight one who already exists), think of how you can combine two opposites. How can you play up that tension?