Character Notes from Womack

With characters, get them to surprise you in some way. Show how people react: ‘Wow! I didn’t expect that!’ Show them having the experience and reacting to it.

A person uses your product then goes on to do other things. Your website is one of 20 websites, and probably the last, rather than the one and only. Don’t make the project a star of someone’s life. Just make it good enough. Show that it did something for the person. Then your character moves on to the other things in his/her life.

Show internal struggle. Don’t try to show the whole experience. Focus on the critical moments.

There’s a difference in the plot and the experience of any character. Involve more than one person and have some conflict exist between them. It’s the conflict between the characters and complexity that keeps you going more than the overall story arc.

“Beauty brings copies of itself into being. It makes us draw it, take photographs of it, or describe it to other people.” —Elaine Scarry, Professor of aesthetics, Harvard

The Whale Hunt is awesome, and lead the author to making Cow Bird. Products need characters. Stories need products, or main characters to focus them.

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