This is a helpful model from my coach. Nothing is deemed meaningful unless it has something else to be compared with. For example, if you came from a planet filled with dinosaurs, an elephant would look small.

This is important in the early stages of character creation when you’re trying to figure out where is meaning and pain for them, where are triggers. One mistake I made early on was knowing my character Devon was going to see boyish games like GI-Joes as immature, I jumped to that conclusion, without figuring out why. At one point these toys brought joy into his life, so why do they now bring sourness or the feeling of immaturity?

Again, if we traveled across the galaxy to our alien’s dinosaur world and then returned to earth, an elephant would seem like a poodle. So what experience gave Devon new meaning into these toys?

That’s when I realized, oh he had been hanging out with a neighbor girl, Lucy, and most likely something happened around that; perhaps maybe Lucy’s baby brother is annoying them with toys, and Lucy yells at him. And new those figurines take on new meaning. To be close to Lucy means to grow away from those toys.

Now when Devon enters the playroom, that new meaning is infused in his actions, and I understand why, I understand what it’s compared to.