You know that moment as a writer, when you’ve been charging through the story, high on how fantastic it is, and then suddenly…it all STOPS. The next scene doesn’t form in your head. You’ve got nothing.
Behind your characters, a string of bright and captivating scenes mark the trail of that rocket of inspiration; ahead of your characters, a foggy expanse, stretching to who-knows-where, a few shapeless blobs that should be scenes floating in the nothingness.The rocket is dead, and not refueling any time soon.
Well, to everybody who’s suffered this, or is currently suffering it, there’s a way to navigate through that fog. A map. Directions and a destination.
Or, more specifically, events that form the underlying structure of the story.
This post is going to focus on one facet of story structure: character arc. Structure is something people subconsciously recognize and expect, and if the story doesn’t match those expectations, they feel cheated (though usually can’t explain why). Every good story follows a structure. So if you know structure, you’ll always know where to go next, and won’t get lost in the fog.
So here are the 8 steps of a character arc:
1) Hero: Strength, Weakness, and Need
This happens in the setup of the story, when the main character’s ordinary world is being introduced. First, the main character’s strengths must be displayed; we must be given a reason to like them, or if not exactly “like” them, empathize with them, and be fascinated by them. The reader needs to bond with the character, feel concerned about how it all turns out for them. Or in other words, feel that the main character is worth experiencing the story. There are easy traits that do this: courage, love, humor, being in danger, being unfairly treated, being highly skilled at something, having a powerful noble goal. (Courage is the one they all need. If the character doesn’t have the gumption to actively pursue what they want, they are automatically a background character.)
After this, still in the beginning of your story, let the character exhibit what needs to change. Show their weaknesses of character and self awareness. And lastly, hint at what they NEED to learn. Sometimes this is even stated to the character, and they don’t understand it, refuse to believe it, or condemn it. Like “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge’s nephew says his speech about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and Scrooge replies “Bah Humbug!"
2) Desire: This is the moment when the character knows what they need to pursue, in order to obtain what they inwardly want. It is not the inciting incident or catalyst, the event in a story that disrupts the ordinary world and calls the hero on an adventure. This is a separate step entirely, occurring after that catalyst has shattered life as the main character knows it. They believe obtaining this goal will calm whatever inner turmoil or conflict they’re battling. And always, they’re not quite right. Think of Mr Fredricksen: His goal is to get the house – a symbolic representation of Ellie and the life he shared with her – to Paradise Falls, which he believes will heal his grief and guilt. It won’t. Once he obtains it, the achievement feels hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So on we go!
3) Plan: Once in Act Two, the character is going to scramble for a plan of action. The inner want has solidified into a tangible goal, but they need a strategy to achieve it. This also spells out for the reader what to expect in that second act.
4) Conflict: What’s going to try stopping them? A hero with a goal is one thing, but to make it a story we need something that stands in the way. An obstacle. A force of opposition. If we didn’t have obstacles, books would be as interesting as "Harry Potter and the Trip to the Grocery Store.” (Although honestly, I’d probably read that.) After the catalyst has changed everything, after the character crosses the threshold into Act Two, everything from here on out will be laden with conflict. This is usually when enemies, or more accurately forces of opposition, begin to appear. Everything is accumulating to complicate the main character’s pathway to achieving what they want. The forces of opposition come from not only the villains, but from the actions that have to be taken to achieve the desire. Whatever this action is, it’s exactly what the main character is not suited to do, an action that pressures their flaws, exposes them to exactly what they need to become but can’t right now.
Like Stitch being forced to be the family dog. He’s not suited to this task.
5) Battle: The forces of opposition are amping up, growing stronger, fighting with greater intensity. The main character is taking the punches and working around them, relentlessly plowing forward. Hero and allies are usually punching back too.
6) Midpoint: This is the event where they first encounter what they need to learn, what they need to become. Something happens that forces them to behave in this new, life-saving way. But once they’ve seen it, they don’t know what to do with this knowledge.
7) Dark Night, Revelation, Choice: This is always the darkest point in the story, where all seems lost, and death – of a literal or spiritual nature – is in the air. And in this moment, something usually happens that makes the main character wake up to what is wrong, and what they need. More often than not, this revelation will arrive from the “love story” or relationship of the plot, and will be the thing that helps them pull themselves out of despair and see the light. And once this is uncovered, once the revelation of the truth about themselves is recognized, they are faced with a choice. Of course, they’ve been faced with choices in every beat of every scene, but this is the big choice that is going to determine if their story has a happy ending or a tragic one. The choice is this: “You are being faced the truth that you need to heal. Are you going to choose what you need, let your old self die, and become someone better?” And always, always, always this is a hard choice. The revelation must be significant to them. And it’s never easy. It can’t be. We don’t write stories about heroes who make easy choices. Villains have it easy. Are you going to adopt this new way of living, adopt this truth, and let your old self die? Or are you going to stay the way you are (which feels safer and is much less challenging) but end up stuck in a sort of living death? Most of the time, of course, they choose the right thing.
This moment is usually always the saddest scene in the thing. Like this scene with Stitch.
8) New Life: This is their changed life. After experiencing the trials of the story, after realizing what they need and choosing to be reborn, they are going to be different people – and are going to live a different life. This is what follows the statement “And every day after …” What has changed? Show the audience how things are different, how things are better, because they want to see that. This is the resolution, the wrapping up of everything we’ve been through with the main character, and having this in the story is often what gives that feeling of satisfaction after seeing a really well-told story.
So! To show off how this works, I’ve chosen the character arc of Carl from Up.
1) Hero: Strengths, Weakness, Need
Strengths: Reasons to like Carl are packed into that heartbreaking opening sequence. By the end of it, we love him, love Ellie, and are crying our eyes out.
Weaknesses: Now Carl is curmudgeonly, grumpy, cold, and won’t pay attention to a living soul. He’s also plagued by grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. (Which we are all 100% okay with, because we already like him.)
Need: He needs Russel. The statement of what he needs to learn isn’t outright said (as it will be later) but Russel represents it.
Step Two: The catalyst was when a truck knocked down Ellie’s mailbox, Carl hit a construction worker in the head with his cane, and for this a judge declares him a public menace and orders him to go to Shady Oaks Retirement Village. The DESIRE is this moment.
Carl escapes in a flying house, thousands of balloons lifting him skyward. He even says the desire of the whole story out loud, “So long boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!” The tangible goal is “live out the rest of his days in his and Ellie’s house, on the edge of Paradise Falls, South America.” (“It’s like America … but South.”)
Step Three: The plan and the conflict overlap, as they are wont to do. We have a scene where Carl is unfurling sails, setting a compass, and settling back in his chair for a smooth journey. But later on, after some conflict has arrived, we have Russel figuring out how to actually make it there. And after even more conflict has arrived, we have him telling Russel “We’re going to walk to the falls quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flash-dancing.”
Step Four: The moment he settles back into his armchair, high above the city, and here’s a knock on the front door, nothing is going to be easy for Carl. First, we have opposition in the form of Russel. Then we have a storm. Then the house lands miles away from the Falls, so they’ll have to walk it. Then we have Kevin, the giant bird. Then we have Dug. Which means they’re also being chased by a legion of talking dogs. Which brings us to Muntz, the main villain, and Carl’s shadow – the representation of Carl’s flaws, and the consequences of refusing to let go of the past.
Step Five: This is the trek to the Falls. It’s also the battle with every complication that arises. And it’s also exactly what Carl is not suited to do. He’s a curmudgeonly old guy, bent on living out the rest of his life alone. Well, the story says “Nope, Carl, that’s not how it’s going to be” and promptly gives him a surrogate grandson to take care of, a dog who adores him, and even a giant mythical bird. And he has to lead them all, if he’s going to get to the Falls.
Step Six: The moment when Russel invades Carl’s heart. Which is what he needs, but he doesn’t understand. (I have the scene beated out in the previous post.)
Step Seven: Finally, he gives in to the worst of himself and chooses his goal of living in his broken house on the edge of Paradise Falls. But somehow this doesn’t feel like victory. He’s still alone, next to Ellie’s empty chair, and she is still beyond his reach.
He picks up her adventure book, and leafs through the photographs, missing her; he pauses on the page scrawled with the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”, lets his hand rest on it, grief and regret overwhelming him. He begins to close the book, and the page shifts … revealing the edge of another picture. Surprised, he turns the page. It’s their wedding picture.
Ellie added picture after picture of their happy marriage, the whole wonderful life they shared, all the things she did. And on the bottom of the last page is her last message to him: “Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie.” Exactly what Carl needs. He doesn’t need to be guilty, he doesn’t need to regret the past. The past was beautiful, and she will never truly leave him.
Choice: So, Carl can make the choice to throw everything out of the house to go save Russel.
New Life: Sitting on a curb, eating ice cream with Russel.
In the credits, we see a whole new life – or new adventure – with Carl, Russel, Dug, and even a bunch of new puppies.
So, it’s actually pretty simple. And once again, it’s fun to develop your own stories like this, but it’s surprisingly fun to analyze movies and books with it too. It improves your storytelling ability, I’ve found. Practice makes perfect.
I hope this post helps somebody out. It’ll make the ten times I cried while writing it, while watching scenes from Up, worth it.
“Morning, lovely. I see you got out of bed… I’m proud of you.”
“You’re like fall… I love fall.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you happy.”
“Picture yourself as a cat. Are you fluffy, hairless, big, small? What color are you? Well, no matter how you are, I got news buddy, all cats are cute. You’re cute. Your flaws are cute. Your personality is cute. Your mistakes? You guessed it, cute. Now, you wouldn’t treat a cat badly, right? You’d feed it, love it, support it, right? …‘cause if you wouldn’t then I’d whoop your ass, so you better love yourself no matter what, cutie.“
“Someone, someday, is going to write a sappy poem about you. And even though it’s super cliche, you will love it to pieces. You’re so adorable.”
“I hope you have a wonderful day.”
“You are your worst criticizer, seriously, all those things you’re worried about, they are absolutely fine.”
“Have you eaten in the last hours? Drank enough water? If not, do it now or I will… fight you… with my love…. yeah!”
“Keep going, love.”
“Look at you, god… you’re amazing.”
“It’s okay, you’re allowed to cry, just let it all out.”
“You’re strong and I care about you.”
“I love and support you.”
"You’re numb. You’re tired. You can’t seem to do anything. You want to give up. Well, I’m here to say, please. Just one more push, just one shower, one tiny task, one more day of looking after yourself. It’s hard, but I’ll be here on the other end, I’ll be there when you close your eyes tonight and you picture me, with the biggest smile on my face. One more, for me, for you.”
Everyday you are growing
more and more
into the person you are meant to be,
expanding infinitely to fill the life vessel
that is your unique being.
So if right now
your overall sense of self
is one of uncertainty,
and vague confliction,
worry not, for
you are only just beginning to meet
“Either or both can be arranged. My parties are intended to please all.”
AU where Hannibal is a business tycoon, and Will a business columnist. Both seemingly hating each other’s guts, but secretly crushing on one another. In a ritzy, elitist party thrown by Hannibal, a humble Will looks out of place and lost. And Hannibal comes to the rescue.
Y’all acting like predicting an alien threat to MCU’s Earth is some wildly amazing thing that no one could do unless they were ‘paranoid’!
Aliens have already attacked! They actually attacked out of a big giant hole in the sky! And they whooped our asses but for the grace of six people, some really brave police/firemen, and a re-directed nuke. We also have big shiny fuck-off energy stones all around our earth that are clearly not from around here that people keep fighting over, and we know that Loki wasn’t acting alone.
Tony was the only one who saw the full might of what one attack brought, Tony is the only one beside Thor (and Fury) that is appreciating just what kind of force could be brought to bear against Earth, but Tony has apparently informed these suckers multiple times about what they’re up against and nobody chose to listen. Also Tony, “The Futurist is here!”, Tony Stark, Actual Genius, has been established as hyper-vigilant about future threats, both homegrown and far-flung.
Tony already had a plan in place for preparing for extraterrestrial threats before Wanda fucked with his head and before the Mind Stone fucked with Ultron that wasn’t ready for implementation but was a big idea in his head. “But his PTSD just made him paranoid” yes his PTSD is a big part of his character, so thrilled you finally noticed, he still did it and no one else did and this has been established for multiple movies so take your L and piss off.
So I just had a major fight with my mom and stephdad who claim “queerbaiting is not a thing” and that by complaining about the lack of queer representation in the HP books I am “forcing JK Rowling to write things that don’t exist in her fantasy world”. Like that isn’t hurtful to queer people, that they don’t exist in her fantasy world (which isn’t even true, they do exist they’re just never mentioned exept for Dumbledore and that wasn’t even in the books).
They claimed that if I want representation I should go to queer bookstores, which doesn’t help because the point was that straight people should be normalized to the idea of gay people existing so that being gay doesn’t make you a special snowflake, it just makes you a person like everyone else who happens to be gay (or anything else that isn’t straight).
Is this just me thinking this way or am I “pushing writers to write something that doesn’t exists in their creative world”?
Hi! Can you do RFA reacting to MC on her period/trying to hide her period from them? Thank youuu!
Oh my gosh periods are the absolute worst. This one was still a lot of fun to write so thank you for requesting it! I hope that you like it!! :3
You and Yoosung both finally had a day off together and deiced to sleep in
You woke up before Yoosung and felt his arms wrapped around you and you snuggled into his chest
But you felt something wet down by your legs and carefully moved the blanket away to see that your period had started and bled through your sleep pants onto the bed sheets
Completely embarrassed, you shook Yoosung violently telling him to get out of bed
“Wah what’s going on MC?” A very confused and sleepy Yoosung asked as you kicked him out of the bed
You didn’t respond, only blushing bright red as you carefully moved the blankets so he couldn’t see the mess
But Yoosung caught a glimpse of bright red blood on the sheets and his eyes went wide
“MC are you okay?! Did you hurt yourself?! Should I call a doctor?!” Yoosung asked as he started panicking
You sighed saying “I’m okay Yoosung, my period just started. Sorry about the sheets, I’ll clean them up right away.”
As you tried walking away, Yoosung grabbed your arm and hugged you, rubbing your lower stomach
His mother and sister made him learn about how much period cramps could hurt and how women could become very emotional
So to your surprise, Yoosung knew exactly what to do and treated you like a princess
Yoosung threw the dirty sheet into the washer and quickly put a new one on so that you could lay down
He told you that he had to make a quick stop at the store and when he came back, he had pads and tampons, heating pads, your favorite snack foods, and a new movie for the two of you to watch
Yoosung took such good care of you that there was hardly any pain and lots of comfort, making you not worry about period pains ever again
The two of you decided to go on a date night to see a movie that Zen made a cameo in
You two were able to snag the last two tickets, much to Zen’s delight
Just as the two of you were about to enter the theater, you felt something off
You told Zen that you had to use the bathroom quickly and when you got there, you found out that your period had started
The emotions were already getting to you as you felt yourself start to tear up
You left the bathroom trying to think of an excuse for only you to head home so Zen could enjoy the movie
As soon as Zen saw you, he noticed something was off and asked “What’s wrong babe?”
You burst out in tears and whispered to him that your period has started
Zen immediately goes into protective boyfriend mode and walks behind you so no one can see any blood coming through as he leads you to the car
The entire ride home you were crying and told Zen between sobs “I-I’m so sorry that I ruined our date night.”
He honestly couldn’t believe that you could become so emotional just because of your period but he shushed you saying “It’s no problem at all MC. You can’t control it and we can have our own fun date night together at home.”
Zen carried you inside bridal style and helped you clean up then laid you on the bed as he got you some pain medication
You were completely exhausted and Zen completely understood so the two of you ended up cuddling for the rest of the night until the two of you fell asleep
When you woke up the next morning, you found Zen in the kitchen making breakfast a a bouquet of your favorite flowers on the table along with some heating pads
Zen really was the best boyfriend ever
The two of you went to a fancy restaurant to celebrate your anniversary
It was the first time either of you were able to go to such a high-end place so it was an even more special night
You and Jaehee were killing it in your brand new dresses and you both looked like goddesses
But when the two of you were seated at your table, you felt what you only assumed was your period start
Panic built up inside of you, it was such a special night and you didn’t want your period to ruin it for Jaehee
So you sucked it up and decided to pretend like nothing was wrong
But you and Jaehee were together for a reason because she knew within a couple of minutes that something was up
You were getting increasing hot to the point of sweat dripping down from your forehead and the cramps started to come
When Jaehee saw you wince in pain and hold your stomach, she knew that your period started
So Jaehee helped you up and lead you back to the car while you apologized profusely
When you two got home, you nervously asked her “Was I really that obvious Jaehee?” as you got out of your dress and into more comfort clothing
Jaehee giggled and made you lay down as she got you a heating pad and said “Sort of. But what you had were pretty similar to my own period symptoms so I knew. And don’t worry about tonight, I’m always happy as long as I’m with you MC.”
You smiled gratefully at your amazing girlfriend The two of you spent the rest of the night cuddling and watching Zen’s musicals on DVD
You both ended up falling asleep in each other’s arms, with you feeling a lot less pain thanks to Jaehee
You were so grateful that you had someone else who understood the struggle of having your period and you made a mental note to take extra good care of Jaehee when hers started
You had convinced Jumin to go out on a simply yet fun ‘commoners’ date with you
The two of you went to a local park and packed a picnic and the day had been going well, you and Jumin talked about your future together, stared at the clouds, and even made him laugh at a couple of your jokes
Jumin seemed to be having such a good time that you felt like nothing could possible ruin your mood
But Mother Nature had different plans
You were laughing at one of Jumin’s attempts to make a joke when you felt your period start
To make matters worse, you were wearing a light colored dress making the blood stand out on the back of your dress Jumin noticed you looking uncomfortable and asked what was wrong
“My um period started Jumin.” You said awkwardly to Jumin You attempted to stand up but you could already feel the cramps coming on
Jumin noticed the back of your dress was staining with blood so he quickly wrapped his jacket around your waist to hide it and walked you over to Driver Kim
He had never dealt with women on their period before but all Jumin knew was that you looked like you were in pain and he needed to stop it
So when the two of you got back to the penthouse, Jumin cleaned you up and made you lay down in bed with him calling out to the chef to make your favorite meal
He laid down next to you and gently rubbed where your cramps were hurting telling you sweet words of encouragement to try and help you feel better
You eventually fell asleep and woke up a couple of hours later to see Jumin curled up next to you sleeping
The cramps were almost completely gone so you settled yourself back into Jumin’s arms
For a guy who’s never experienced a girl with her period before, Jumin sure knew what he was doing
Seven had been working hard the past couple of days making you extremely bored
You were laying on the couch, mindlessly playing on your phone when you felt something seep through your pants
You groaned as you saw that your period had started
Luckily none of the blood had gotten on the couch so you quickly passed Seven’s work room in order to get a new pair of pants
You were in the bathroom trying to clean the blood out of your pants when you heard the door open
“Aw my poor MC’s period started. Come on I’ll clean those up later, you need to rest now!” Seven said as he dragged you into the bedroom
“But how did you know Saeyoung? I’m sorry I know that you’re busy working and it’s so embarrassing.“ You said as Seven tucked the blankets around you
He smiled and kissed your forehead saying “I’m the Defender of Justice MC! I know everything! But seriously I keep track of your cycle so I always know when you’re due to start.”
Seven got you a heating pad and laid down next to you rubbing your back and whispering how much he loved you
You fell asleep to Seven’s loving words and woke up the next morning to find a Seven had made you a messy cake saying ‘I love you’ on it as well as some of your favorite snacks and more heating pads
You were honestly so grateful for him and gave him a huge hug when you saw him
Seven smiled telling you that you deserved it and how he would take good care of you until your period was over
“Hey MC quick question, I never looked it up or anything but a period is when you pee blood right?” Seven asked as you were about to cut into the cake
Seven was lucky that you loved him and that you weren’t too emotional at that point to punch him
never compare yourselves to other canon blogs who play the same character as you. not one person is the same, we are all different and unique, thus that makes the roles we play so much more better. everyone has a different take on a character, none is better than the other.
look, we all start somewhere, and as we spend more time doing this we improve our writing. I’ve been writing optimus for nearly 5 years. that’s how long it’s taken for me to be where I am. did I get there by comparing myself to other optimuses? no way, otherwise I would of quit a long time ago. Surround yourself with positive influences and befriend each other, support each other and offer critique and help.
there is critisism, which is supposed to be helpful, and then there is doubting yourself.
Fuchino Yuuto (Noya) wrote a blog post to wrap up this tour of Engeki Haikyuu, Summer of Evolution! (x)
He of course begins by thanking everyone who came to see the show, and writes that he’s glad they could finish all 37 performances safely.
Then he immediately starts writing about the pressure he felt taking up the mantle of Noya from Shouhei and how nervous he was to enter the Karasuno cast. And although he was really overwhelmed at first at rehearsals, he was really glad to have become a part of their team. He and Kenta are the same age, but he felt overwhelmed by Kenta’s presence as an actor, and so he worked hard to learn as much from Kenta as he could.
He got a lot of motivation from Kouhei, and lots of advice from Kazuma. He’s so glad that he and Justin could get that jump-serve-receive scene perfect for the final show, because they had a hard time getting it down just right throughout the entire tour.
This play more than any other helped him realize what it is to ‘connect’ with your fellow cast members, and he tried hard to work on every relationship he could within the cast.
He’s always thought Shouhei’s Noya-san was especially cool, and so he really wanted to be just as cool when he took on the part. But there were times when he got depressed because he wasn’t quite sure what to do. The day after Shouhei came to see the show, Fucchi and Shouhei went out to eat. At that time, Shouhei told Fucchi that his Noya was cool, and Fucchi was so happy he had no idea how to respond. It was then that he really felt that in the world of Engeki Haikyuu, there really are two Noyas.
“Volleyball is a game about connection, and it’s like this that we are connected in Engeki Haikyuu. The ball that Shouhei connected to me; I received that, and I face upward, wanting to continue that connection. That’s what I thought from the bottom of my heart.”
Lastly he thanks everyone for their letters and presents and all the support they gave him; he feels nothing but gratitude to everyone. As an actor, he’s going to keep pushing forward!
characterization, filters, and characterization to be found in the lack of filters
Talking about Jane earlier got me thinking, you know, Jane is not at all the only character that uses this device to show off the less desirable traits lurking in the psyche of all these damaged teens. Like. So many characters have these lurking deep seated issues that stay hidden deep down because the characters are pretty good at projecting a less damaged and more together version of themselves.
If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s a fucking outrageously relatable quality and part of what makes the Homestuck characters RESONATE so much. Why they feel like they have all this dimension and depth that makes us grab on to them and never want to let go.
I’m just going to run through some examples here while I’m thinking about it. The first OBVIOUSLY since thinking about her is what got me going on this – Jane. Crockertier Jane removing the layers of self-imposed filter on Jane’s festering insecurity, entitlement issues, jealousy and so on. I’ve already talked enough about that today.
Grimbark Jade! You notice Jade says what she’s thinking WAY more easily while she’s mind controlled, and she still sounds like herself – she sounds kinda like she does when she’s owning Karkat repeatedly, doesn’t she? Because angry Jade has that same effect of pushing her nice girl filter aside and letting the angry witch (not a cutesy slur, her literal witch class) within fly free. Grimbark Jade tells us that behind that nice girl front Jade Harley actually thinks some pretty uncharitable thoughts sometimes, she just keeps a tight fucking lid on it because – well, don’t most people? Relatable as fuck.
Jadesprite! Since we’re talking about Jade anyway. Jade likes to think she has everything together, that her visions from Skaia and her scientific prowess and the tools her Grandpa left her are more than enough to handle everything that comes her way, she’s independent, she’s capable, she’s certainly never LONELY oh no of course not certainly never CRUSHINGLY OVERWHELMED by the responsibility of her own existence nah those are weak feelings for weak girls who aren’t as awesome as Jade! And then – Jadesprite. Why do you think Jade got SO ANGRY at Jadesprite? Because she was being confronted with something she knew deep down was a reflection of weaknesses in herself (totally normal ones that her later arc reinforced were a mistake to pretend weren’t there – Loneliness and fear and regret are all tied in with Jade’s character progression and learning how to deal with those things is where I imagine her arc would have gone if Homstuck’s ending hadn’t been the literary equivalent of chopping off a limb and cauterizing the wound.) Jadesprite is Jade without the filter of implacable strength Jade imposes on herself to fuckin cope with living on a hell island with the stuffed corpse of her grandpa who she grew up thinking literally killed himself at BEST. god damn
Davesprite. Dave Strider with a slow long agonizing depressing arc wherein he realizes his coolkid persona won’t make anyone think of him as their best friend anymore, and in the absence of the security that persona afforded him when he was The Real Dave he has no idea what to do with himself. He’s lost, he feels aimless, untethered, incapable of being happy – and yes, Davesprite is his own character, but you can still infer a lot from Dave’s character about him – for instance, how he completely ties his self worth up in how useful he is to his friends or how worthwhile they find him and has no idea how to even BEGIN the hard journey of looking within for worth instead of relying eternally on changeable external sources. Davesprite is Dave not WITHOUT a filter but certainly with a VERY DIFFERENT one.
Homestuck does this with almost every single damn character on its roster at some point. Shows a version of them with a different or lesser or completely missing filter to highlight flaws and issues and internal struggles of all kinds.
Homestuck is a damn deep dive into an exercise about analyzing nature vs nurture and what we’re predisposed to do and what comes from within and what is put upon us by forces out of our control, and how that line is blurry and messy and everyone has the potential to be either the worst or best version of themselves. Even Caliborn was given a choice. Hussie-The-Character explained it to him at great painstaking length.
There are so many other examples. Jasprose is Rose without a filter, and the way Jasprose goes around gleefully calling every hot girl she sees hot and delighting smugly in knowing more than just about anyone else and lording over the information and playing smarter-than-thou games – that tells us a LOT about Rose! A LOT about what sort of urges Rose tamps down on every day in an effort to just be fucking cool!
I bet you have things like this with yourself, right? Doesn’t everyone?
Tricksters! Look at how they act. They’re not themselves but there is plenty to glean from them. Jane immediately goes for Jake, the object of her desire, to pursue an exaggerated version of her idealized future. Trickster Jake is a passive fucking ragdoll who immediately acquiesces to everything everyone demands of him because their happiness becomes his happiness – Jake hates confrontation, so Trickster Jake is just a fucking doormat. Roxy goes for Jake AND Dirk because divorced from the guilt she normally feels for harboring desire toward either one of them she knows exactly what she wants! ETC ETC. Of course they would never do any of this shit if they weren’t high as balls and incapable of understanding the meaning of the word “consequence.” That’s the point. Seeing what they do in this situation is an interesting window in!
Brain Ghost Dirk is a version of Jake (yes, of Jake, not Dirk) without a specific filter Jake runs his own personality through before he’s comfortable presenting it to others, and you’ll notice, it’s EXTREMELY biting and critical sometimes. Jake knows what he’s about. He just buries it most of the time because that’s easier than dealing with it.
I could seriously keep going.
Homestuck loves to show us what our favorites do and say and ARE when basic filters go out the window. Those filters that most of us employ to make other people believe we don’t all have intrusive thoughts or bad desires or just plain old weaknesses we’re ashamed of and want to keep hidding at costs – or that we occasionally think things or think about doing things we would never ever ever do in real life are demolished or changed or temporarily suspended.
It’s brilliant tbh. It lets us see facets of characters that would normally never really get full spotlight reveals by their very nature, especially with protagonists.
Vriska vs (Vriska) – (Vriska) is just Vriska with some more self awareness and more willingness to let down her self-imposed filter and actually examine the shit she wants and why because watching Aranea fuck the timeline over out of motivations eerily similar to her own
hardcore shook her enough to develop in that direction.
(which makes sense since HER original motivations are copying Mindfang who IS alt-aranea lmao I love Homestuck) (Vriska) is still Vriska, it’s just a very very different lens through which to view her character.
blah blah blah blah etc there are so many examples
anyway I love Homestuck and good character writing what up