Know Your Character

Ask yourself, whose eyes is the reader seeing through? Who is driving the plot line in the story? What are their values? What choices do they make? What does each character want? What do they do to achieve their goals? How do they grow by the end of the story? This relates not only to the main character, but to the villain and other characters as well.

The villain actively works to destroy the world and wants the main character to fall. The antagonist can be the same character, but doesn’t have to be. The antagonist is not necessarily bad. What drives the antagonist? They can justify anything if it gets them closer to goals. Steps lead to bad decisions. Make your plotlines instrumental to the main character and the antagonist, but give them their own successes and failures. What are the stakes? Make the reader care about the protagonist.

Look at this pic. What story comes to mind? Have fun writing.

photo of character painting near stairs
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Character Arc

If you are trying to write a story, you need a character arc planned out for your plot. Here are some pointers:

  • need for change
  • opportunity
  • ┬ádenial
  • boiling point
  • confrontation
  • struggle
  • forced hand
  • moment of choice
  • result or resolution

Your character is confronted with the need to change. This sets your character on a new path, and they must choose between what they want and what they need. This can go two ways. The lack of concern to change causes the forces in your story to push back against your character, resulting in a confrontation. Or now aware of the need to change, your character will struggle between choosing to act to what they want and now know what they need.

old woman sitting on chair near girl while reading a book
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Want Help With Your Writing?

Consider joining a writing club such as Pacific NW Writers Association, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Sisters in Crime, and many others that specialize in helping new writers and established writers. They also offer classes. Check it out.

woman in front of her computer
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