Characters Who Must Fight Their Mirrored Selves

In my quest of learning more about character, I'd found a tidbit about heroes and supporting characters that surprised me.  This came from a newsletter written by Chris Soth who created the mini-movie method.  I tend to use it rather than the three act structure.  You can check out his site at With any hero there's a character arc.  Whether he has to learn to be less selfish, or learn to believe in herself, I find that I connect with the hero when he or she must go through something and come out a better person.  Isn't that our jobs?  To connect the reader to our hero?  And when they don't the story is then called a tragedy.

There are supporting characters that are necessary.  Heroes tend to have a nemesis, possible love interest, straight man or woman, a sidekick, gap-inducing character, etc.  Chris suggests having at least two mirror characters.  One character that shows what the hero can and should become--giving, self-confidence--and another, maybe the bad guy, who shows the reader what would happen if the story was a tragedy.

I understand the purpose of mirrored characters, but I'd never heard of this before.  Have you?

The Million Dollar Question Part Two

First off thank you all for your responses.  Some were awesome, while others were really entertaining to read.

The Million Dollar question is a great conversation starter.  So if you’re at a party and you don’t know any one, ask them the question.  Then take the time to read them.  See if they’re telling their truth.  If they answer with ‘I don’t know’, which is common, then continue the conversation by asking what their interests are.  Once they list them, ask why they don’t pursue them like an actor would pursue an acting career.  Ultimately, the question is meant to free up your mind about money.  If money is taken cared of, or guaranteed, what profession would you take up?

In my book I separate people into two basic categories, those who follow their passions and those who don’t.  Their lives are then dictated by their decisions.

A lot of times people think they know what they want, but it’s really fueled by societal pressures, like getting married at a certain age because it’s the norm, or they choose a major in college because they think it’s practical, like software engineering.

People often forget what they loved and settle for what’s easy.  Because it takes courage to go for what you want, doesn’t it?

So how do people forget or settle?

It’s never from the inside, from your intuition.  The culprit is always from the outside.  See my article on What Do They Know.  Outside influences can often times mimic intuition.

Now here’s part two.  If you were to ask yourself the Million Dollar question, how would you know if it was your truth?