This is a great article. I love it when I read some writing advice, something I wasn’t earlier aware of, and discover I did it right. What a good feeling.
In Absent Children, Jessamy feels false guilt, but she keeps it secret. In my work-in-progress, The Mother in Me, Crystal is scared, but puts on a false front of being tough. She also lies to protect herself.
Do your characters tell lies, have secrets? What are they?
Back in the Spring we started talking about ways to create multi-dimensional characters. Then I probably saw something shiny and, in case you are wondering? NO, I can’t catch the red dot. But I don’t give up easily 😀 .
It’s tempting for us to create “perfect” protagonists and “pure evil” antagonists, but that’s the stuff of cartoons, not great fiction. Every strength has an array of corresponding weaknesses, and when we understand these soft spots, generating conflict becomes easier. Understanding character arc becomes simpler. Plotting will fall into place with far less effort.
All stories are character-driven. Plot merely serves to change characters from a lowly protagonist into a hero….kicking and screaming along the way. Plot provides the crucible.
One element that is critical to understand is this:
Everyone has Secrets
To quote Dr. Gregory House, Everybody lies.
All good stories hinge on secrets.
I have bodies under my…
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