Glossary for This Chapter

As you go through the third version, some of the terms like Character Diamond Corner will be familiar to you from reading this book, for you've already learned about the corners (the different Traits) of a Character Diamond. You'll also be familiar with Layer Cakes. (These terms, however, are also defined in the following glossary.)

Other terms will be self-explanatory. But following are a few that you might need to know to make sense of it. They're listed here in alphabetical order.

Beat. Another word for pause.

Bit Character. A character who only has several, or maybe even just one, line in the game.

Character Arc. The rocky path of growth a character undergoes in a story, usually unwillingly, during which the character wrestles with and eventually overcomes some or all of a serious emotional fear, limitation, block, or wound (FLBW). Examples: a character who is overcoming a lack of courage or a lack of ethics, or who is learning to love or take responsibility for others, or who is overcoming guilt.

Character Deepening Technique. A technique that gives a character a feeling of emotional or psychological depth or complexity.

Character Diamond. A colorful grouping of personality Traits that determine the character's dialogue and actions. To learn about creating colorful Character Diamonds,[4] see Chapter 2.1, "NPC Interesting Techniques."

[4] The grouping of Traits is called a Diamond because, quite frequently, the character has four major Traits, or corners, for his or her Diamond. For instance, if a character's main personality Traits are: (1) offbeat humor, (2) badass attitude, (3) protective toward the oppressed, and (4) a philosophical side, these would be the four corners of the character's Character Diamond. Though four corners is common for major characters, three or five can also work for major characters.

Chemistry Technique. A technique to make it feel like two characters have Chemistry i.e., that they belong together as friends or lovers. (For more on Chemistry Techniques, see Chapter 2.7, "NPC Toward NPC Chemistry Techniques," and Chapter 2.11, "Player Toward NPC Chemistry Techniques.")

Crossing the Dramedy Line. Crossing briefly from drama into comedy, or vice versa.

Diamond Corner. A corner or Trait from a Character Diamond. (See Character Diamond.)

Drop First Word. When you drop the first word in a character's line of dialogue.

Emotional Pathway Type 2. When the scene takes us through many different emotions in a quick period of time.

Flipping a Scene. The scene flips and goes the opposite direction it was going earlier. (For instance, the lovers start out by kissing and end by fighting.)

Layer Cakes. When Character A has various layers of feelings toward Character B, and these varied feelings can present themselves either simultaneously or sequentially.

Own Track. When a character completely ignores what the other character is saying, and continues on the same subject he or she was initially speaking about. The character stays on his or her "Own Track."

Plot Deepening Technique. A technique that gives emotional depth to a plot.

Plot Sculpting Technique. A technique that makes plots more interesting.

Ragged Ending. When a scene ends in an unhappy, ugly, or uncomfortable way.

Relationship History. Anything that gives us the feeling that the characters share a common history.

Scene Deepening Technique. A technique that gives emotional depth to a scene.

Scene Sculpting Technique. A technique that makes the scene more interesting. It makes the scene flow in interesting ways, or begin or end or unfold in interesting ways.

Sentence Fragment. When you drop out two or more words from either the beginning, middle, or end of a character's line of dialogue.

Set-Ups and Payoffs. Something an object, a phrase spoken by a character is introduced early in the plot. When it's introduced, it's a set-up. A set-up is revisited in an interesting way one or more times later in the story. Each of these instances is a payoff.

Example: Early in a story, the character puts a child to sleep by reading aloud a story about a sweet little kitten (the "set-up"). Later in the story, the character is attacked by 1,000 rabid cats (a payoff).

Another example: Early in a game, your character (the one you play) learns to throw a Frisbee (the set-up). Later in the game, the character's life will depend on being able to throw a circular, Frisbee-like weapon (the payoff).

Slam. An incident in a scene, which may comprise an entire scene, which forces a character to wrestle with his or her fear, limitation, block, or wound (FLBW).

Example: A gunslinger who is just out for himself (his "limitation") would experience a slam when he suddenly finds that he has to defend an entire community from an enemy (which means he'd have to take responsibility for others).

After enough slams, a character usually grows through his or her Character Arc and overcomes his or her FLBW. In this example, the gunslinger's Character Arc would be to overcome selfishness and learn to be responsible for others.

Symbolic Subplot. An object or action that represents the character's growth through his or her Character Arc. (See Chapter 2.23, "Enhancing Emotional Depth Through Symbols.")

In the rewritten scene, smoking represents Admiral Colby at his best he smokes during those parts of the story when he has the vision and courage to bring women into the Navy. As the story progresses, Vice Admiral Dalton, originally so resistant to the idea, will become its champion. Colby, originally far-seeing, will become conservative and even reactionary. He'll try to stop the plan he put in motion.

As he falls away from his progressive ideals, he gives up smoking. So we set up the symbol that smoking = Colby at his best.

(Most viewers' and gamers' expectation would be that Colby would stop smoking [a healthy act] as his views evolve, not as he loses his progressive ideals. However, it's often more artful and interesting to go against expectations.)

Of course, some might think a more normal use of smoking at a symbol would be for Colby to be smoking while at his worst, and then stopping when he grows to become visionary.

But since that would be the obvious route, let's "find the cliché and then throw it away," as I tell my screenwriting students.

Time/Place. Something that gives us a sense of the time and place in which the scene or cinematic is set.



Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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