Reflecting back on yesterday’s character exercise, take some more time today to examine your protagonist’s essence.

As you consider this, take note that the concept of essence is unchanging. It’s something we’re born with. We arrive in this world with our inner being and we depart with it intact.

Our – and our characters’ – outer persona changes with stimulus. We develop our outer character based on how much love we are given or how much is withheld, the type of neighborhood or schools where we’re raised, the people and traumas we encounter.

Think of life events as the plot points that shape our characters’ choices and personalities. Their inner essence – the part that remains unchanged – is their theme.

In many cases, your character’s discovery or return to their inner self is the point of your story. That essence can also be what urges them out of the status quo and toward experiences that will help the fulfill their destiny.