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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Writing Tip: How Much Baggage Does Your Character Need to Get Rid of to Move Forward?

How much baggage do you need to get rid of before you can move forward?

When I write, I often think of how this question applies to my protagonist.  This helps me discover the Aha! moments that my character(s) need so they can move forward in their story. 

I believe when characters grow or suffer from their experiences, it adds depth and complexity to their personalities.  For me, that's what makes them real. Answering this one question redirects my thoughts on how my characters will get rid of their baggage. 

Is it by getting rid of physical objects or changing an attitude? Is it through an argument or a heart to heart? Or, will they not be able to let go and just live miserably in the past, wondering why did this have to happen to them,  dwelling on the what if's?  

All interesting things to ponder. 

The added bonus to this question is it helps me figure out what I need to get rid of, so I can move forward in my day...

Not that I have any.

How much baggage do you need to get rid of before you can move forward?

Think on this for a bit.  

Get rid of your character's baggage  (and yours). 

Move your story forward. It'll be good for you.


PJ Hoover said...

I think if we all followed a nice character arc in our lives, we'd all attain so much more.
It's a fun thing to think of, Vivian!

beckylevine said...

Wonderful question! I think I'm up on what external things or people my MC has to escape from, but I haven't yet figured out HER thing--her contribution to the problems/stuff holding her back--that she'll have to dump. Still working! :)

Vivian said...

Isn't it the truth!

Have fun finding out the answer!

Anna Lefler said...

Wow, what a great question for direction. I'm in a rewrite myself right now and that really touches on the depth I'm working to add to my main character and to the story itself

Thanks for the great prompt!

:^) anna

Stacey said...

This is a great question to use in my conferences with kids who are developing complex characters when they write fiction.