There are a lot of ways one can outline characters. For instance, you might devise them in terms of their development and positions in society, or you could ground characters in terms of their virtues and vices, and so on.
Most of the characters in The Amber Menhir were spawned out of necessity. When I needed someone with a particular societal slant and the power to witness or compel events, I made sure they existed. I only thereafter turned to their personalities, quirks, loves, and goals. It isn’t a perfect methodology; it required lots of rewriting as I learned about characters as I sailed them. Or scuttled them.
Back home on the ranch, a major source of conflict and stress in my world ended this week. The climax sequence brought me within close-range of someone with an explosive disposition. I am very much the opposite. I am instinctually deferential until I deem you in need of a plot. Thereafter I must fight the instinct to become a serpent coiled in tall grass.
Anyhow, the disparity in how my adversary and I approached our situations, articulated our goals, and threw figurative blows struck me — and hard enough for me to ponder whether conflict styles might be a useful means of building out characters.
Lucky for us all, the internet teems with conflict resolution archetypes, especially from the romance and corporate spheres. So, whether you’re writing lurid vampire romance or plots of politic intrigues, there’s something out there for everyone to craft their cast. Better yet, it doesn’t take too much work to jigger the riggings of one framework and then release them in a refreshing environment.
The pity for my purposes is that so many of the most prominent frameworks focus on the benefits of each conflict tactic. So, after toddling around a bit, I’ve decided to take the scheme linked below and create a shadow versus light variant of each tactic. I’ll provide my stab at that task next week. We’ll see how the exercise goes. It might be a disaster. Though, I’ve heard it said that the more disastrous an exercise feels, the better it probably is for you…