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What’s the worst thing you can do to your character and why?

One thing about writing that’s hard for me is being mean to my characters, well at least most of them. I suspect that certain scenes we write are our way of acting out and doing things fictionally that we can’t do in real life. But stories need conflict and so we have to do horrible things to characters at times so they can grow and change and we can advance the story. (Although I draw the line at hurting the dog.)

So what are some guidelines for doing this? Writer K.M. Weiland says the point is to not only up the stakes and create conflict, but to generate character growth and advance the character’s personal arc.

For more details, watch her 2:26-minute video.

For more inspiration from Weiland, follow her @KMWeiland and visit her website.

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