How do you build character changes into your story?
That is the question, after all. Okay, so let’s take a look at your intended actions in the story. At the end of your tale, what changes do you want your character to have experienced from beginning to end? For example, your MC is a bit wimpy and you want them to be more of a hero in the end, what are the changes that must occur? Now plot those points. Build your novel around the moments of growth in your story and your character.
Key Point: Always begin at the end of the change, with the self-revelation; then go back and determine the starting point of the change, which is the hero’s need and desire; then figure out the steps of development in between.
This is an especially useful process in creating your story. You will see your story telling ability increase and strengthen. Does it work? Think about a vacation you would like to take once this pandemic lifts. Are you just gonna pack a bag, show up at the airport, throw some cash on the counter and tell the clerk to pick? Hmmm, sounds fun to me, but what will actually happen is you will close your eyes and see the very spot you want to take a photo of yourself. That is your end point. You see it before it happens and now must create the trip to get there. You will pick your final destination based on that image, the country, then the province, then the hotel, then…what do you want to see and do once there. It’s all about the plan.
I plan on sitting happily at my computer with a satisfied grin. To do that I must run to the restroom cuz coffee and then I will refill the cuppa I just emptied cuz…coffee. I will follow that up with a yummy nibble for my grumbly tummy. I will roll out the reading rug and invite all my friends to join me with their copies of The Anatomy of Story by John Trudy. See, a plan will get you there. And here you are. Learning with me.
By starting at the end, you can figure out every step your MC must do to get there. Wanna be a doctor? It isn’t a work study program. You must follow a series of steps to get there. Before you can slap MD behind your name you have to know the path. This is the organic path.
Okay, I know, there are some of you out there shaking your head at this thinking it is too confining. “You can’t stuff my creativity into a box, man.” How? When you know where the end is you can have fun creating the path your MC took to get there. There is no fun in a straight line. The drama is in the curves and bends in the tale. Take chances. Play with the possibilities.
Self-revelation begins at the beginning of the story. That means self-revelation has two parts: the moment of revelation and the set up to the revelation.
Moment of revelation:
- Should be sudden to draw in your fan base.
- Should be emotional for the audience as they connect to the MC.
- It should be something new to the hero of the story. It must be something they are experiencing for the first time.
- Triggers your MC to take a new moral action to prove the revelation is real.
- The hero must have a brain and know how to use it.
- He/she/they must be hiding something from themselves.
- This hidden truth must be hurting them in some real way.
A person who has a brain and knows how to use it but is hiding some truth from themselves? Huh? One of our powers as storytellers is to show how our characters are flawed. We, as people, carry delusions about ourselves all the time. Come on, I didn’t believe I had a weight problem until my doctor told me he would add more meds to my daily list each time I saw him. Um, no thank you. Then he took the opportunity to show me my Body Mass Index chart and well, you know the rest. 30 lbs down and not stopping. We all have a hidden truth. What’s yours? What’s your character’s?
How’s it going? Any questions? Suggestions? Coffees I should try? Who wants to send me some? No, really. Who? Hit me up. I would love to try coffees from around the globe.
Back to the book. We will be looking at Character Technique. Something called the Double Reversal. Sounds like a wrestling move to me but I’m game if you are. See you next time.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent