Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Double Helix of Plot and Character
For me, plot and character are interwoven like the DNA strands in a Double Helix. I map out character arcs and plot arcs, but end up looking at them together more than separately because the story has to work as a whole.
Here are a few things I do to develop character and plot throughout the writing process:
1. Sometimes I write my MC's life story up until the book starts. This helps me to develop his voice for the actual novel. Nothing beats voice when it comes to story-telling. Your character can be doing something as boring as changing a light-bulb if he’s got a great voice. Okay, he probably couldn't just change a light bulb for the whole story--unless he had a really cool side-kick.
2. In the first draft I ask questions like this continually: What does my character want? What does my character need? What are his internal conflicts? The answers to these questions help shape the plot.
4. My final thought for today: Have your characters take risks. And to have them take risks, put them in risky situations.
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear your thoughts.