Last week, my writing group finally got to read and critique a scene in my work-in-progress that introduces the antagonist to the readers. I say “finally” because I’ve been struggling to write this scene for quite some time. No matter what approach I tried, I just couldn’t seem to pull it together. So, I made it my goal at the start of 2017 to figure out why this scene wasn’t working. Continue reading
I spent this past weekend doing a character interview with the antagonist in my work in progress. I’ve shied away from doing character interviews in the past because, frankly, they seemed silly. My characters lived in my imagination. I created them. I didn’t need to ask a series of questions of, in essence, myself pretending to be my character to figure out their weaknesses and goals. So why did I change my mind? I realized I was neglecting one of my greatest strengths as a writer. Continue reading
For our current “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine the protagonist’s character arc in a book. Now, it’s time to apply what you learned to your own manuscript.
Last week, we discussed the protagonist’s mistaken worldview at the beginning of the story. This belief needs time to develop, to grow and mature, to become more deeply entrenched in his or her way of life. For this week’s prompt, highlight in scene sketches three moments in the character’s life.
- One at the beginning of the book, where the character truly believes the lie.
- Another further on, where something happens in the story to challenge the character’s belief.
- And lastly, a scene where your character is forced to confront this mistaken belief.
When my daughter found out that a new book in the Harry Potter franchise was being published this summer, she insisted we pre-order it so she could start reading it the day of its release. I explained to her that the book wouldn’t be like the original series she devoured in elementary school. “It’s a play,” I said. “The ‘book’ is the play’s script. It’s not going to read like the other stories.” But that didn’t matter to my 11-year-old. All she cared about was the fact that she was going to get to read more about her beloved Harry, even if he was now an adult and the dad of one of the play’s main characters. So we placed our Amazon order and counted the days until the book’s arrival on our doorstep. Continue reading