15 December 2008

International Plot Writing Month -- Day Fifteen

We're halfway through December -- International Plot Writing Month. I trust the time you've spent reading the posts and exploring the exercises has given you a new angle, passion, and energy for your writing, and has deepened the meaning of your story.

So much of writing is by feel. The suggestions here are simply ways to help support your groping...

The Climax decides the Beginning. Examine the Climax you've written for insights into what is being revealed about the protagonist. Think of the protagonist's flaw as the weakest link in her growth -- I'd like to write: spiritual growth but am afraid the word spiritual will be misunderstood. What I'm referring to has nothing at all to do with religion -- it's the part of you that is beyond the physical body. Oops... I was talking about your protagonist, not you...

What does the protagonist have to overcome in herself in order to do what she does at the Climax???

A story is a spiritual quest. Once the character has taken the challenge and entered the story world itself -- Middle, she is knocked around, shaken up, challenged, and tested. In order for the quest to have meaning, the protagonist must share the gifts she has learned with the "tribe".

This is why so many stories are circular -- the protagonist must return home with the elixir -- the End circles back the Beginning...

Any character/person brave enough to step outside her comfort zone is being invited on a quest. Sharing the gifts completes the circle.

What is your protagonist's flaw? What does she do to sabotage herself from achieving her goals? What does she do to get in her own way of attaining her dreams? What is she doing to herself unconsciously that the story forces her to become conscious of and, once she aware of herself, is able to do things differently and thus, reach that which she longs for in life AND helps make the world around her a better place??? The answers to these questions will help determine what belongs in the Beginning of your story.