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Seven Ways to Bring Characters Together

18 August 2017

From Mythcreants:

You have a character that’s made from oozing lava, and another that’s a rolling snowball. They’ll make a great lava-snow duo, but right now they won’t so much as say hi. Don’t worry, storytellers have many tried-and-true plot devices for bringing characters from different walks of life together. Start by looking through these seven.

1. Build an Alliance of Necessity

In Mad Max: Fury Road, Max is captured by the same tyrant that Furiosa wants to escape from. They’re not inclined to team up; they punch the lights out of each other when they first meet. But Max can’t get anywhere without Furiosa’s truck, and Furiosa needs another warrior on her side. They have to join forces.

To get an alliance going, give your lava character and your snowball character a common friend, enemy, or both. When the friend goes missing or the enemy strikes back, they’ll have every reason to team up. Motivating them to join forces will be easier if their skills are both essential and different. Lava can bust into the corporate fortress and knock out the security guards, but only after Snowball hacks into the security system and disables the alarms.

. . . .

 5. Force One to Guard the Other

In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, a terminator T-800 was captured by the good guys, reprogrammed, and sent back in time to protect John Connor. John Connor is understandably freaked out by this mechanical menace at first, but then he discovers the T-800 has to follow his orders. The T-800 saves his life repeatedly, and they slowly bond.

This method makes it easy to drag both characters together kicking and screaming. Does Lava hate to be around Snowball? That’s just too bad, because now Lava is responsible for them. Maybe Lava’s boss assigns Lava to protect Snowball, or maybe Snowball is a captive and Lava has to keep them from escaping. For their part, Snowball either won’t have a choice in being guarded or would risk death by refusing it. Regardless of the particulars, Lava and Snowball are bound to spend hour after hour together, with little to do other than talk.

Link to the rest at Mythcreants

Fantasy/SciFi, Writing Advice

One Comments to “Seven Ways to Bring Characters Together”

  1. So, use that ‘conflict’ thingy?

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