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2013 Brandon Sanderson - Lecture 3: What Makes a Great Character (1/7)

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Greg McClelland (9 months ago)
Long Live Donald Trump! Make America Great Again! America First! Deport ALL illegal border hopping Mexicans! #trump2020
Amber Lyn Mills (1 year ago)
In the first part of a hero's-journey-style book, if the protagonist is forced against their will to start the "journey," but some of the other important characters take action, might that work?
Dave Jacob (2 years ago)
i´ve got the feeling that often character are simply relatable because they are the only or one of the view not-dumb or not-freaky or not-asshole-characters around, they are simply good by contrast to all others. (in that sense, of course they are also automatically very individually). but often you have a more or less flat character who simply acts like a decent person, but because he shows this in his reaction to another absolute moron in the story, he is the more relateable one. the one who has to deal with assholes or morons all around him. very relateable.
Iain McDonald (2 years ago)
That's how it works with my D&D games. The players are usually heroic because they're the only ones to make intelligent decisions, and they're not Lawful Stupid arrogant.
JS DeVries (2 years ago)
I love these, Thank you so much for uploading and taking the time to put these together. they are so helpful <3''
Jason Fenton (3 years ago)
This guy reminds me of Rich Evans.
djbanizza (1 year ago)
lol, I was wondering why he feels so familiar but didn't make the connection
Nathan Diehl (3 years ago)
He's a funnier character than we've ever had...
Jason Fenton (3 years ago)
+Nathan Diehl What makes a great character? Well, Jar Jar's the key to all this...
Nathan Diehl (3 years ago)
+Jason Fenton I wonder if Sanderson watches Night Court on VHS, or if he does unspeakable things to toy droids.
Jen C (3 years ago)
I just wanted to say thank you for these lectures. I'm finding them very helpful!
Jes W (3 years ago)
Is it just me? Brandon reminds me of Chandler Bing.
Sofiya Karpina (1 month ago)
Maybe it's the voice?
I've never related to a single character I have ever seen. The idea of it just makes me laugh. "oh yeah, I really connect with Spider-Man and his ability to shoot webs from his hands and throw cars", or "I just really feel connected to Son Goku and his ability to turn into a giant laser shooting monkey."
Nathan Sonnenfeld (11 months ago)
In another video - I think it was Sanderson - he talks about "superman" characters versus "everyman" characters and how the appeal is slightly different.
Jason Fenton (2 years ago)
As a quiet nerdy kid growing up, the only comic book I read was Spiderman. Nowadays the reason why is obvious, because Peter Parker was some nerd kid and I related to him. Also wasn't his job as a photographer kind of awful? The pay wasn't that good (if I remember correctly) and his boss was a jerk to put it extremely mildly. To be fair, my favorite interpretation of Spiderman was the Sam Raimi movie one, and they really push how behind the eight ball Parker is in those movies, especially the second one. He's behind on rent, his apartment sucks, he can't get the girl of his dreams, he can't apply himself to college, and when he's out crimefighting he starts to realize that he is losing his power. Spiderman 2 is the best one because it lets Peter make a bad, selfish decision, by having him give up being a superhero, and it works because the audience empathizes with his situation so much, in other words, he is at his most relatable in S2. We also like jerk heroes because they are relatable. To use an obscure example, Kerr Avon in Blake's 7 constantly advocates for leaving people behind, and killing people now because the ends will later justify the means. The only reason he is on the heroic quest is so that when everything is over, Blake will give Avon the super advanced spaceship they're flying around in. We like Avon because he says what we're often thinking in the back of our minds, even if we don't want to admit it. We can at least relate to him, the fact that he does bad, unlikeable things makes him very human, so even when we disagree with him, we empathize. He isn't an everyman, he's a ruthless hacker, gunslinger playboy, but he is relatable because he can be cynical or cold in ways the other characters aren't. That is why audiences like him more than the hero of the story, Blake, who comes off as very bland, because he is too vanilla heroic. Relatability might not matter to you, but it matters to most everyone else, everyone who likes Avon will inevitably cite an example of Avon doing something that they wanted to say or do themselves if they were a character in the show. They aren't using the exact term, but they are saying that they relate to his actions.
GrinMonister (2 years ago)
+Legendary Detective Wobbaffet relating to a character doesn't make someone a narcissist. Also, from your comments the reason you probably don't relate to characters is because you're kind of a douch and slightly narcissistic yourself. People are trying to tell you facts that relate to a majority of readers and yet you brush them off and call them narcissistic and try to act superior by saying you read for psychology. A majority of readers (especially sci-fi/fantasy readers) read for characters (which is why relatable characters are a big deal). You read for different reasons which is why characters aren't as important to you. People read for different reasons so stop acting like your reasons are better and more superior and is the only way to read.
A list I don't agree with. I like many many characters and regular people I've never "related" to. I like you, and I don't think we agree on anything. I like Spider-Man, though again I'm nothing on any level at all like him. I don't enjoy fiction because I'm a narcissist who just likes seeing himself on screen or on paper. I like it for different reasons in each story. I don't even think the main characters protag anymore in American fiction. The main characters have just become reactionaries to situations thrown at them. We tell stories of victims more than protagonists. The villains are more the protagonist because they cause the situations that the main characters react to.
Lorn (3 years ago)
+Legendary Detective Wobbaffet snaderson talks about 3 characteristics of likeable character, which is competence, relatability and protagonizing. Everyman character would be very boring if he doesn't protag, but he doesn't neccessarily have to display great deal of competence. most important thing is getting a sense that characters have life outside the books.
Ryan Burns (4 years ago)
+oberoth111 Sanderson is teaching at Brigham Young University, an establishment founded by the LDS (Mormons). I don't think it's a commandment for them to avoid R-rated movies, but they are generally counseled against watching them. I'm not a member of the LDS church, so maybe someone could correct me if I'm wrong.
Ben Hinrichs (4 years ago)
Nope, you're right :) 
piderman (5 years ago)
And twenty lecturers after him will be saying "Oh, this pen is dying". Please just throw it away instead of putting it back down :)
Zeine (3 years ago)
I took your word for a metaphor for a second.
Zeine (3 years ago)
I took your word for a metaphor for a second.
oberoth111 (5 years ago)
Are you not allowed to watch films for grown ups at this university? when giving examples of things they mention cartoons like the Lion King and Tangled. seems strange for a class full of late teens early twenties. In another video, Brandon started talking about Die Hard but then stopped because he said the students wouldn't have seen an R rated movie. they could only see a censored version. Have I misunderstood something?
Bbwalker (1 day ago)
Amber Lyn Mills would a non Mormon stick out like a sore thumb?
Amber Lyn Mills (1 year ago)
It's a Brigham Young University (BYU) class, mostly filled with Mormons. We're generally raised with strict rules, so we tend to end up enjoying the softer things anyway. Also, it's Utah.
Nick Ruva (5 years ago)
Any chances to get these lectures in HD? The quality is fine, but I've been watching these on my TV, and this is the only lecture that isn't showing up in HD. :)
TheRAfreak (5 years ago)
I took two years of ASL in high school, and I always get a "yay!" moment when I see people signing, haha
Freddy J. Morgan (5 years ago)
Hate to ask using the comment box here, but is anyone struggling to log to the writeaboutdragons web page. Just seems to have disappeared?
Thomas Giles (5 years ago)
Forgot to say before, but it's pretty awesome to have the lecture signed to a deaf person over to the right, and for them to be able to answer and contribute is also very cool.
Melony Chitwood (5 years ago)
Playlist is out of order. Otherwise thank you for the lectures.
Starry Night (5 years ago)
Thank you so much for uploading these videos. I truly appreciate them!

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