While there are a lot of frameworks out there for structuring your novel, almost all fiction has a central thesis: your character must transform.
With Thanksgiving so recently past for those in the U.S., I thought I’d share a short & sweet strategy on how you can use thankfulness to craft or clarify a character arc.
Simply ask this question at two different times in your story, and ensure the answers are different:
What is your protagonist thankful for on Page One?
What are they thankful for on Page ‘The End’?
Your character is going to start the story in a particular state of self-awareness. …
This came up twice in the past week, once in a blog, once with a coaching client, which made me think, “Clearly EVERY WRITER IN THE WORLD IS DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE,” so I thought I’d do a little post about it.
When trying to decide if you really need that beautiful, angsty backstory tidbit right now, ask:
“How will this bit of backstory info make the character’s situation more difficult — or their success more questionable — in the very next scene?”
It can prevent us from dropping in unnecessary bits of backstory, or dropping it in when we don’t really need it. …
Writers spend a lot of time plotting.
It may be when we first start writing — or even before we start :eyes plotters with an envious gaze: Or it might be 50% (or 100%) of the way through, when we stop writing ‘hot,’ look back over the story, and realize with a sinking heart, “OMG, I need a plot…”
But at some point, we plot.
It’s not enough to come up with a nasty, cruel plot that gives the protagonist a vital goal then makes it impossible to accomplish.
For great stories, you need more than that.
Or rather, you need a way to connect the thread of suffering you wrap around your protagonist to them personally. It has to be meaningful beyond the plot. …