Tutor profile: Kyle A.
What sort of things should a character have to avoid being "two-dimensional"?
A "two-dimensional character" is often considered a minor character, or someone who doesn't really move a story forward because they don't have anything to gain from it. To avoid having your protagonist, or anyone else you want the audience or reader to connect with, come off as two-dimensional, you should make sure they have a goal. They need a motivation to be active in the story being told, a reason to get involved in whatever is going on. If the character doesn't want or need anything, whether it's something that concerns them or someone they care about, then there's nothing for the audience or reader to connect with. Your character also needs depth, meaning they need to be more than just a physical description in a person's mind. A good way to start with that is figuring out what sort of things are going on in their life. Do they have a family? Are they close with them? What about friends? What about enemies, either childhood bullies or someone who betrayed them in the past? Think about how things in the past have impacted the character, and how it helped them grow from that. Maybe they haven't fully grown from it yet, and it adds some internal conflict as the character goes on their journey. A final thing to make sure the character isn't two-dimensional is that they remain active in their environment, even if the scene or chapter isn't focused on them. It should never feel like the character is being strung along like a puppet at the whim of a plot or what not. An example is Samwise Gamgee, who accompanied Frodo Baggins throughout their quest to destroy the One Ring. It may seem like Sam doesn't have much of a purpose besides walking the same path that Frodo is going, but he is always an active participant. He provides inspiration for his dear friend when things seem bleak or hopeless, and he's always ready to spring to his friend's defense when others seem to be an obstacle to their quest. Even something as small as him making sure they always take time to rest and eat during the long trip gives a caring personality to this character, and maintains an active presence in a person's mind.
How does Mary Shelley portray the idea of "death" in her novel, "Frankenstein"?
In her novel, "Frankenstein", Mary Shelley does an interesting job of portraying "death" as something not entirely final, but something that man should not tamper with. When Dr. Victor Frankenstein creates a creature from dead body parts and gives life to it, the final result horrifies Frankenstein to the point he is unable to interact with civilization for a couple months. He has defied death, and immediately regrets his decision. Meanwhile, his creation, who adopted the name of Adam, has tried to find his place in this world he was brought into. When he is rejected multiple times, driven away with fire and violence, Adam takes revenge on Dr. Frankenstein's family and causes two deaths in the family. Dr. Frankenstein tries to evade his creation, as well as attempt to free his family from the repercussion of his actions, but Adam seems to always be stalking him and taking more life. When the two meets an ultimatum is reached, where Dr. Frankenstein is to create a bride for Adam, Frankenstein eventually refuses to repeat his decision of defying the cycle of life and death. This enrages Adam, who kills the woman Dr. Frankenstein who loved since childhood, and the two head into the Artic with the intentions for a final confrontation. Dr. Frankenstein comes across a ship sailing in the Artic, and passes away after telling his story. The last couple pages detail Adam coming for Dr. Frankenstein and whisking him away and out of sight, like Death itself coming for the man who dared defy it.
Subject: Film and Theater
In film and television, how do you create a plot that any audience member can become engaged in?
A plot that can get an audience member truly invested requires three things, an objective, stakes for whomever the objective applies to, and a sense of urgency. Take the plot of the highly successful superhero film, "Avengers: Infinity War" as an example. The objective is to get a hold of all the "Infinity Stones". The stakes for our antagonist, Thanos, is that he needs the Infinity Stones to enact his plan of wiping out half of all life in the universe. For our protagonists, The Avengers, the stakes are to stop Thanos from getting the Infinity Stones because they want to preserve all the life in the galaxy. The urgency of this plot is, in the first scene, we can see that Thanos already has two of the six Infinity Stones he needs. Soon after that, it's shown that other characters that work for Thanos are spreading out across the universe to find the remaining Infinity Stones, so we as the audience knows it is only a matter of time until they find them all unless someone stops them.
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