I just listened to the most fabulous talk on TED. For the third time. It’s called The Power of Vulnerability and I highly recommend it.

Brene Brown is both bright and charming. She packs her profound ideas into a talk that penetrates your soul. I now understand more about myself and others and I also better understand the psyche of the characters I am writing about.

Brene talks about connection. She identifies connection as the reason we are all here. “It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our life.” This explains so many things. Much more than I can possibly go into in this short blog post.

She adds however, that in order to allow connection, we must allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen. But to be really seen we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

And then I thought about my characters. And then about characters in general. As storytellers, if we are to portray our characters as people truly are, they must be made vulnerable.

What follows is that characters are not that different than ourselves. And vulnerability is what enables us to identify with them.

My conclusion is that we must build ourselves. That we must build our characters. We must build with vulnerability as the essential building block. It is vulnerability that will enable us to reach the destinations of courage and love and the character arc.