At Badass Digest, Film Crit Hulk regularly outlays amazing essays on storytelling and the dramatic aspect of art. One of the things written that leapt out at me in this piece on Man of Steel was this section:
AND SO THE ONE THING THAT HULK HAS DISCOVERED IN THIS JOB IS THAT THE BEST WAY OF COMMUNICATING AND GETTING AT THE HEART OF PROBLEMS IS BY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, START WITH “THE BIG SEVEN”:
WHAT DOES THIS CHARACTER WANT?
WHAT DOES THIS CHARACTER NEED?
HOW DO THOSE WANTS AND NEEDS CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER WITHIN THE CHARACTER?
HOW DO THEY CONFLICT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD?
HOW DO THEY CONFLICT WITH OTHER CHARACTERS?
HOW DOES THE CHARACTER CHANGE THROUGH THOSE CONFLICTS AND HOW DOES THE RESOLUTION AFFECT THEM?
WHAT IMPACT DOES THAT CHANGE HAVE ON EVERYONE ELSE?
I like looking at this list. Thinking about it is very useful indeed.