How to Write Character Reaction Patterns

This post by David Wiseheart originally appeared on Character Secrets on 3/20/15.

Writing teachers, story coaches, and screenwriting gurus often say:

“Story comes from character.”


“Story is character.”

And that’s true.

Unfortunately, these writing teachers rarely go into detail about what that actually means.

Or how it works.

Well, I’m about to show you exactly how it works.


Master the Pattern, and You Master the Game

In a story, when a character is confronted with a major stress, they react.

How do they react?

Characters react to major stresses in ways that are both unique and predictable.

There are patterns.

I call them character reaction patterns.

If you know a character’s type, then you can know how they will tend to react to major stresses.

Knowing these patterns can help you to write or re-write your story.

If you’re outlining a plot, you can use these patterns to come up with new scenes. This can be a huge help in plotting your screenplay or novel.


Read the full post on Character Secrets.