In this blog I will describe a few methods we at Bellyfeel use to expand a character’s life beyond the main events that happen to him during the course of the Main Linear Story, be it a film, novel, comic, TV drama etc.
Expanding a main character’s life to before and beyond the main story events gives you the material to generate new story content that is character specific. This content will be the basis for creating new story content, what we call Granular Content, that will engage the audience beyond the linear experience.
A lot of main character material will already exist such as a profile or biog detailing likes and dislikes, politics and religion, physiology and psychology, as well as backstory, arc, personality and relationships, and probably much more.
Firstly, if you don’t already have one, you need to create a Storyworld Bible to contain ALL story content related to your Main Linear Story. One section should be labelled ‘Characterization’ and it is where all character content you have already created is placed.
Next, re-visit and re-read all this character material but with the following basic points in mind;
Look at the main character’s entire life from birth to death and create more key events. This will lead to a wealth of ideas that will generate exciting and engaging extra character and story content.
Look at the main character’s important relationships with secondary characters and consider taking one of these to examine and expand in the same way. This will generate Granular Content and tangential stories.
Think about the type of social media platforms your main character would use (if applicable) and how they would use them.
Use the ‘likes and dislikes’ from character biogs and profiles to compile playlists of their favourite films, books, comics, games, TV shows, celebs, music and sports etc. This creates simple feedback and engagement points for the audience to like or comment.
These are a few of the methods we use at Bellyfeel. When it comes to creating interesting, engaging and compelling new story content for your audiences, you will soon see the advantages gained by expanding characters’ lives beyond the Main Linear Story.
For more about Granular Content, click here.
For more about Storyworld Bible, click here.
Richard - The owner of all stories, copy and text at Bellyfeel. Always been a writer, always will be.