Wednesday, January 4, 2012

01/04/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello all! It's the new year and hopefully everyone had a great weekend. Mine was spent being as relaxed as possible, and let me tell you, after working 2 straight weeks in crazy proxy-retail (I realized that last week, it's strange) I needed it. Hopefully this year will be a good one, full of accomplishments and apocalypse specials on the History channel (yay those are always fun!).

Today I wanted to combine what we've looked at the last couple weeks (plot and main character) to try give a sense of how to get a good groundwork for a story. Your main protagonist and plot are going to be what you use to figure out the other characters, since you will be able to get a better idea of what the world actually is like. You can't just say that you're making a set of rather specific characters, but not have them fit into the world you created, that's just awkward. (Unless of course there's parallel universe travel involved, if that's the case, run with it!)

Right now, let's take Phillipe, our farm hand turned mob boss (who I have decided I NEED to use at some point for...something) and throw a plot balloon at him. We already have the basics for his back story, which tells us the world is likely either set in the recent past, or modern day. We already know his motivations too, so just for the sake of simplicity, let's say the main plot is getting Phillipe to remember where he came from, and him having a change of heart, bringing down the mob from the top down in order to save his family.

Now that's fun and all, but this is where supporting characters/antagonists come into play. There needs to be resistance, if Phillip just wakes up one day and says "Heeey...I was supposed to do something!" followed by him just, well, doing it without any problems, while that's a quick story, it's not so much fun. There has to be people that motivate him to remember, and also act. There could be the young street urchin the mob took in that reminds Phillipe of his youth and innocence he lost. The number 2 who brings comic relief and also companionship and loyalty, and then the woman, with enough moxy and wit to keep up with him who has a dark past she's running from. These are the people that will likely influence him in a positive way.

After them comes the antagonist. This character needs to be on par with the main protagonist as much as possible. I love a good villain, sometimes more than the main character. This person needs to be strength, confidence, wit, tenacity, charisma, power, essentially everything the main character has just used in a completely different way. This is your resistance Phillip is going to face in his quest to regain his honor. Maybe it's the son of the boss that appointed him on his death bed, or the former number 2 that for demoted, or the head of the enforcers, even a police chief who wants to bring down the gang. That doesn't matter as much as long as they are a good match for the protagonist.

Next Wednesday I'll elaborate a bit more, this started running a bit long and I apologize for that. Come back on Friday, when I'll have another book up for review. I hope everyone has a good week. Remember, keep writing, it's the only way to practice and also to finish what you're working on.

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