The Writer's Toolbox: Character Breakdown Technique

A Technical Writing Tool to Inspire the Creative Process
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  • Lectures 9
  • Length 36 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2016 English

Course Description

Welcome fellow storyteller to my Character Breakdown Technique. In this course I'm going to be revealing the basic foundation of what makes all characters tick. Combining my two decades worth of writing experience with some basic psychology, I've created a technical writing tool to inspire the creative process.  This technique is perfect for new or seasoned writers and any form of writing, fiction and non-fiction.

In this course you'll receive my Character Breakdown Form as well as a quick guide to go with the video course. I'll go through each section with you and explain how it works, and also build a character from scratch with you so that you can see how the brain storming process works for yourself.

What are the requirements?

  • No extra materials or experience is necessary for this course. This technique is designed to inspire creativety by giving you a structure to brainstorm in.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Create fully detailed Characters with proper motovations and emotional foundations.
  • Learn about Internal Conflicts and how they motivate your characters choices.
  • Use the tools provided to jump start a new story, edit an already completed story, and/or work through Writer's Block.
  • Understand your characters and their relationships in much greater detail.

Who is the target audience?

  • This writing techique is for new writers trying to figure out where to start.
  • Experienced writers looking to edit their own work.
  • Any writer working through writer's block.
  • Actors or other filmmakers looking to understand the characters in a story better.
  • NOT for people looking for lessons on writing structure.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

A brief overview of how the course breaks down and what you will be learning in each section.

Section 2: The Instinctual Scale

In this part, we'll go over the basics on how the instinctual scale works and what its purpose is. We'll go over how a character's instincts inform their reaction to any given situation and how this element of a character represents their true nature and how that nature either supports or conflicts with every other part of their personalities.


In this part, we'll go over in deeper detail with what the numbers represent, and I'll go over a little technique I use to pinpoint a number for my characters. I'll also be building a new character myself so that you can follow along and understand the choices being made and why.

Section 3: The Choice Scale

In this part, we'll go over the basic information on how the choice scale works and what its purpose is. We'll discuss how this scale represents how characters respond to situations and how this scale represents the main journey your character is on in your story.


In this part, we'll go in deeper on the choice scale. I'll plug in my number for the choice scale and discuss how certain choices change the intention of the choice dependent on where the character's instinct is set. We'll also discuss how this scale will either support or contradict the instinctual scale and all the different reasons why that may be the case. 

Section 4: The Personality Scales

In this part, we'll go over the basic information on how the personality scales work and what their purposes are. We'll talk about different personality traits that define your character and the importance of knowing what the opposite trait is to create growth and conflict within your story.


In this part, we'll go into more detail on all the different personality traits and how they effect the characters you're creating. I'll be plugging in my own personalities to my character so you can see how choosing specific traits effect how your character interacts with other characters and how some traits go naturally with specific genres.

Section 5: Conflit Foundations

In this part, we'll go over the basics of the four conflict foundations and how they work. We'll go over the Physical Foundation, the Intellectual Foundation, the Spiritual Foundation, and the Emotional foundation. We'll go over what each one represents how they're used in story and what they mean to your character.


In this part, we'll go deeper into the four conflict foundations. I'll plug in my own choices, but discuss what all the other choices are and how they change the use of each scale. For example the difference between being cautious because of their physical inadequacy vs being cautious due to how they process information intellectually.

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Instructor Biography

Michael Lang, Head of Story Development at Inner Image Media

Michael Lang is a writer and director living in Los Angeles. He currently works as the Head of Story Development for Inner Image Media and is the Co-Creator of Rapid Reelz, a content creation company for independent artists.

Michael also freelances as a Story Analysis, helping other writers on developing their characters and focusing their stories. He has spent a majority of his life studying the inner workings of story and has spent the last five years creating systems and techniques to help all inspiring storytellers to tell their stories.

He believes that every person has a story to tell and wishes to supply all individuals with the tools and confidence to tell their stories.

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