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David Gane
David Gane

Assumptions—both external and internal—can generate a lot of conflict.

Characters make a lot of assumptions about each other and the situation, leading to misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

The solution is communication: have them ask direct questions and listen to the answers. However, two problems can still occur: first, they need to be aware of this need, and second, they may not be at asking or listening.

Another assumption with characters is that their understanding of the world is correct. Yet, they most likely are operating with a flawed model of the world.

Many stories revolve around a character becoming aware that their model is flawed and struggling through the story to find a proper one. If you can figure out their incorrect assumption, you can unlock the story's conflict and theme.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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