During my time at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I had a professor who taught me something he called, "The Five Bones." Basically, it's a way to get to know your characters, particularly your main protagonist.
What are "The Five Bones?" They are the things that make your character tick. "The Five Bones" are what makes your character who they are. When Professor Pritchett first told me about his building block theory, I thought it was crap. But I found myself using it in order to better understand my characters. Using "The Five Bones"has really added a depth to my story that wasn't there previously.
And here are "The Five Bones"
- Desire - This is what your character wants now and will want five years now. It is one of the things that drives them.
- Fear - This is what terrifies your character and again, will terrify them five years from now. It also is one of the things that drives them.
- Strength - This is what will help your character accomplish their desire.
- Weakness - This is your character's suffering. It is the thing which will stand in the way of your character fulfilling their desire.
- Action - This is what your character is doing about the other four bones. This is what defines your character. This is what makes your character lovable, relatable, and revered.
This building block technique has helped me give purpose to aimless characters. It has helped me discover what exactly my character needed to be doing in order for my story to feel complete. I say, give it a try. Use it to outline, at least, your protagonist and antagonist. See if it helps you get out of writer's block.
Let me know if "The Five Bones" works for you in the comments!
Have a great week everyone!!
To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.