What is a Tool?
A tool is something that help to make a work in the best way, of course if handled properly.
Without tools a man is nothing.
Building and using a proper one for doing something is even one of the things that distinguish a human from an animal.
On those days the importance of the tools is underestimated by the consumerism and richness. We are surrounded by tools and many times we don’t understand the meaning of an object itself. We are involved to use them without thinking too much, changing them for others brand new even before their “usability” is not completely over. Loosing the sense of respect to “something that help us to do something impossible to do without”. And even loosing the sense of the “maintenance and the care of something” unique. Everything can be change for something else, even humans. Everything is necessary, nothing is indispensable. (It’s the Status Symbol System, Baby!..)
But in the past, most the time, a tool permitted to distinguish a man from another. And the proper tools of a man were precious like his knowledge to survive in the difficulties of the life. Even today,in many parts of the world, a little artisan is different from another because his own tools, built,tested, modified and adapted, ,by himself to make effective every action of his body and his mind to complete any kind of creative work.
The Tool is the symbol of the freestanding man and his own dignity.
Storytelling underline always that: how important a Tool is to finish a proof.
Every Hero has his own tools to complete his mission. Without them, and the skills to use them properly, he couldn’t be someone special.
Many times the Tool appears as DEUS EX MACHINA to step over and solve a trial in the “Quest of the Hero”.
Usually the Tool is shown as a Weapon (a special Sword, a Magic Shield, an Extraordinary Bow). But it could be shown even as an ordinary object that daily used, with the time, becomes the best way to solve the problems of the Hero. It could be a pen, or the knowledge written in a book, a camera or a skateboard,even an animal, or a symbol of Faith.. The body appendices, the shapes (the Beauty for a female character, the Muscles for a male one)and the cloths are tools too.
Always tools are the physical representation of the skills of the character. That’s why there is always a “special tool”: because the character must be unique and different from all the others mentioned in the story!
It follows that is important in storytelling to spend a little time finding a proper way to show ” the Tool” of the Character and the way how he’s going to use it. A Character without the right Tool will be absolutely anonymous and without personality. A looser, from the beginning.
Understanding all of this is fundamental for the Character design and Character Development.