The Three Beats
The Three Beats – a concept.
Here is a fun fact, a couple of weeks ago, I was dreaming, during those minutes just before the alarm goes off, I was dreaming…
… I was dreaming about Brandon Sanderson…
… yeah, I know.
In particular, I was dreaming as if I was attending one of his many lessons, you know the one, the BYU – there are plenty freely available on youtube, I do recommend.
So just picture, Brandon in his best Brandon impersonation: one hand in his trouser’s pocket, the other holding a pencil/white board marker, talking about character development.
And he talks about the Three Beats concept:
- The Heart Beat: What drives your character. What your character wants most of all.
- The Drum Beat: Like in a ship, you must row at the sound of the drum. What is that your character must do, in order to survive, to keep going, to maybe one day, fullfil that desire which makes their Heart Beat.
- The … bloody alarm went off…
I know, really.
Bloody good time for the alarm to rang.
So I hastly picked it up, silenced it, and open the notes app, and wrote down the two first beats, there was a third missing. With I mind half asleep I managed to get hold of his last words: What gets in the way of your character?
Great, I know what the third beat signifies, I just don’t have a name.
I wrote down: The Rain Beat. Imagining the character wanting to get somewhere but rain pours against them, making their path difficult.
I imagine, I heard some simillar concepts before, possibly even from his classes, I did watched them more than a couple of times if I am to be honest.
So I don’t claim this to be in any form original. But I reckon it is an okay-ish way to flesh out your character a bit.
And I do wonder what would Brandon comment if he was to ever come across this.