05:40 pm
14 November 2018

What is the purpose of your character?

You know what your character wants, his internal and external motivation. You found out how to write the scene in a way that solving his needs is difficult. Now you must create an interesting journey for your character to achieve his goals. Now this is starting to look like a plot.

You can just try and improvise; some people have a natural sense of narration and can easily work this way. But if you do not feel confident enough or you want a first time guide, then you can do what writers have been doing for centuries.

Take a story you like, one that has a similar approach to what you expect to write, and mimic the structure (the internal organization, not the novel per se).

I am not suggesting that you should plagiarize the story. If your model begins inside a tower, with a man pointing a gun to the Queen of England’s head, do not begin yours with a woman on the top of a tree with a telescopic sight pointed to the King of Spain’s heart.

Discover the sense of the scene. Are we witnessing the preparation of a murder to show how good the character is at his job? Are you setting up his role inside an organization? Is this a reaction to feeling betrayed at a personal level?

Whatever you think is actually happening is fine; construct your own scene to accomplish the same goal as your character. It does not matter if your interpretation is wrong. It does not matter if you have to do some changes to make your story fit better. It does not matter if you skip some scene you do not like. Just make your own version.

Then do the same for the next series of scenes.

This will take time but can be a very effective learning tool. Take into consideration that, once you finish your fist draft based on this method, the time to review will come; a time to change things, remove some scenes, change the order of others. In fact, you can realize the structure does not work so well for your story before you finish the first draft but you will also notice that your mind is a swarm of possible choices.

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