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World & character

A story is born when world and character meet. A world refers to the environment or set of rules, while character refers to the individuals in the story. Both world and character can inspire stories, and their interaction is crucial for a compelling narrative.

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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user MakaniWebb
    I think character comes first, but sometimes you need to scrap a character and put them in a different world and story because they don't quite fit in the puzzle.
    (29 votes)
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  • blobby blue style avatar for user Rose
    just checking. Was I the only one who never treat my toys the same again after watching toy story? even know as a teen I am so sure that my table has feelings like what the heck?
    (10 votes)
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  • duskpin seed style avatar for user onetwinkle
    character definitely come first for me, I've never even thought of doing it any other way
    (12 votes)
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  • mr pants teal style avatar for user Hazael V.
    What if metaphors became reality?
    (8 votes)
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  • leaf orange style avatar for user Jessica Lopez
    What if we come up with both, the character and world, and all we need to do is put the pieces together?
    (5 votes)
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    • leaf red style avatar for user Jonnie Green
      That's what I usually do. Or I read books, and find a world I like, and then make characters to live in it. And time travel is a common occurrence in many of my stories, as the protagonist 'outgrows' the world he lives in, and is hastened to a different time where he can grow his character further.
      (8 votes)
  • male robot hal style avatar for user Elliott Blake Soefje
    Alright, let's go!
    What if a Man, Identical to everyone else in every way except character just was doing his everyday job in this perfect utopia, or so it seemed...
    And he was doing his Job, long black socks, black slacks, a business shirt, and a freshly straightened tie. He was drawing and the business corporate leaned over and said "May I ask what you are doing? And why?!"
    The Man replies back "Nothing much. Why do you need something?"
    The Corporate says back "Yes sir, I Need you to get out of my building for you are hereby fired from this business!!"
    The Man walks out of the building, his tie, no longer straightened and frowning, he suddenly falls into a pothole earlier reported by one of his Co-Workers, he saw them report it.

    The man falls in the pothole, man his luck meter was low today! He got back up with mud all over his white business shirt and everything crinkled.
    He had nothing else to do but to cry, nothing was going well for him. He did not have any money for a cab to go home so he walked, and walked, and walked. He decided to take a short cut down a slim alleyway, knowing nothing worse could happen to him just as he thought nothing worse could happen it did! He decided not to go home, so he fell asleep in the garbage.
    but just before he could get into the garbage the wall started to swirl and turn and twist. within a second of it happening a person came out, unlike any person he'd ever seen. and a great light was emitted and all the power went out in a 20 kilometer radius. A black hole was created out of this hole and started to suck up everything in this alleyway and the alien quickly whispered, "Stop." In the most beautiful voice he'd ever heard! and He gasped for she too was beautiful and she heard him. He tried to play it off, as if he were never there. But she found him, and he said, "I am sorry to startle you, but if it is okay with you I'll walk away and pretend I didn't see anything." She said to him "No, you may not. You shall be my second hand, and I will be your leader..." and with that being said the entire world started to fall apart. and the Lady put on some armor and said, "I never liked this place anyway, Everything is fake, just like your leader, and I'm going to kill him first."

    The only thing that went through his head was

    Blood + Armor + Army = War!

    He tried to run but swiftly fell to his knees with a Knife in the
    back of his head. "I told you not to run!" She said
    (5 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Samantha Moone #Writer's Alliance
    I have a book that seems too fast paced, how do I remedy this?
    (3 votes)
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  • marcimus purple style avatar for user S c K
    What would happen if our world just become one big movie?
    (5 votes)
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  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user stpatrick749
    What if their was a character who could shape the world they live in as they see fit, change it at any time, and control rules and concepts, but still has the mind and knowledge of a normal person?
    (5 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user emaddab1
    What if our world is taking place in a another world but no body is aware of that. But our hero feels somthing is wrong with it. Thats the motive to start the journy.
    (5 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user E7y1
      That reminds me of the book "Key to Rondo". Basically there is this music box that has a whole other world in it, the general idea of the last lines of the book are (no spoilers) "Time doesn't pass in our world like yours until the crank is turned." "I am glad our world isn't like that." "What if it is." Your idea sounds different also, and cool, I like it.
      (3 votes)

Video transcript

- A What If statement is ultimately connected to a world and a character. When we say world, what we really mean is the environment, or set of rules, in which our story will take place. It could be literal, like a coral reef, or figurative, like the mind of a young girl. Character, of course, refers to the subjects or individuals we follow on the journey of the story. What if there was one last robot left on Earth? Let's hear about some of the worlds and characters that inspired our Pixar story artists. Star Wars has this great What If question, which is what if there was a band of rebels that were trying to be the guardians of the human spirit and let's say there was this great war that was going on between this non-feeling technology trying to wipe out this kind of subtle human feeling and it just has this great powerful What If question that really drew me in to that world. - The great thing about the world of Toy Story is that it's this really beautiful metaphor for growing up. And it's so genius because it's so, from the outside it looks so simple, but from the inside it's so complicated and so beautiful. So I think that's a really good example of a world sort of leading the story and a world containing a metaphor within it that we can all sort of grasp and hold on to. - One of my favorite movies is Raising Arizona by the Coen brothers. Well, the world takes a backseat to the character of this protagonist who wants to sort of steal a baby, so him and his wife could have this family. That character is so incredibly alive to me that he could just stand there on the screen and it would still be really compelling. - Personally, I always think character should come first and then the world comes after. For example, a blind person forgetting his pants and going to work will have a completely different story than a seeing-eyed person forgetting his pants and going to work. Two characters will have completely different stories but all of the objects and the setting and everything else is completely the same. So, for me, character is king. - Everybody works a little differently. So, for me, I like to come at it from world first and then find the character to go into this world, or who that character is going to be. I needed to set the stage for a bunch of other characters to go through and then that was the equation for stories to come out. - Sometimes the world comes first and sometimes the character comes first. Either way, the story's born when both things, world and character, meet. Let's get warmed up in this next exercise, thinking about characters and worlds in the stories you love.