Complied ideas of PLOT
Here's yet another post about plot depth. This will include plot layers and subplots. In fact, this post will include just about everything I'm seeing wrong with aspiring writers.

FACT NUMERO UNO - YOUR CHARACTER DOES NOT MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND.

End of story. Sure there can be something amazing and extraordinary about your character (and there should be), but guys, be realistic here: people don't do jack shit unless it's going to benefit them.

So, I just finished one of my critiques (which I absolutely loved and I hope to hear more from this writer), and the main thing I noticed wrong was that the MC seemed to make the world go round. I see this way too much for me to ignore it. So here I am, blogging.

An example of this is the "mentor". You know the type. Step 4 in the Hero with a Thousand Faces practical guide:

4) THE HERO IS ENCOURAGED BY THE WISE OLD MAN OR WOMAN.

By this time many stories will have introduced a Merlin-like character who is the hero's mentor.

The mentor can only go so far with the hero. Eventually the hero must face the unknown by himself. Sometimes the wise old man is required to give the hero a swift kick in the pants to get the
adventure going.
Here's the thing though, the mentors are so freaking overused. And guess what, they're bland. Almost every mentor that I've seen has been absolutely dull. They have no real reason to help the young hero or heroine aside from that he knew his/her well-respected father. And if you make them die, I'm going to cry.

So you have all these people in your story. You have the best friend, you have the mentor, you have the parent that is lonely/dead/unattached, you have the love interest. But here's the thing, if each of those people do not add to your plot, you're cutting yourself short. By a lot. You may not see it when you first create them, but once you start getting your plot rolling, you should be able to fill in the pieces with those characters. Remember, every person is the Main Character in their life. Your secondary characters should be no different. If you give each a role, a story, they will not out-shine your MC, instead they will bring depth to your story.

So here's some questions you can ask yourself when you're looking at your characters:

* Character Name -
* Who the character is in terms to your MC?
* What does that character want for his/herself?
* How do he use your MC to get what he wants?
* How will she react to your MC if she doesn't get what she wants?

After you have your main plot put down, start answering these questions for EVERY character that your write about. There shouldn't be a dull character in the entire story. And remember, you character can't do everything herself.
1 Response
  1. Wow. I started reading this and thought the same thing. BUT! You then started going into stuff about the characters and I almost sh*t myself. I do this! I always have these characters that are in the background and seem like nothing. This has helped me! Thank-you so much!


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