Friday, October 25, 2013

NaNoWriMo Preparation Day 8 of 14

Do you have a Problem?


Okay? I don’t mean you specifically. I mean your protagonist. Does your main character have a problem? What is it?

If your character doesn’t have a problem…well, you my friend DO have a problem.

Your story needs TENSION. And by tension I mean problems. What is your character’s main problem throughout the entire story.

There are different ways you can go about this:
1.      Time is running out.
Your character might have a limited amount of time to do something or find something.
2.      Conflicting goals

Your character may want to achieve something but someone else doesn’t want them to.
3.      They are threatened.

Someone wants them dead. Someone wants what they have. Someone is after them.
4.      Their setting is completely unknown to them.

Imagine being thrown into a world that you have no clue about. Now your character has to survive. That can be quite scary.
There are all kinds of problem…and you can even build one on top of another if you are crafty at your writing. It’s all about keeping the character moving ahead. That problem (or those problems) are going to keep the reader turning the page.

So if your character doesn’t have a problem…you need to find one for them. For example: my character in this years NaNoWriMo challenge is about to find out that every single thing she knows about herself has been a lie…built ontop of more lies. So her problem is she has no clue who she really is, where she comes from. And when she goes looking she finds more problems.

Listen to your character. Let them tell you what they are struggling with. Let them tell you what they are frustrated over. Then build on that.

You gotta have problems man! Life is a box of…yeah, you know what I’m saying. J



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