Okay, okay, okay, I’ve spent the last couple months redeveloping and gathering plot points for Cadaver Dog’s 18 characters and I’ve finally, just today, finished dumping them all into my writing stew pot. I organized the plot points by Main Characters, Plot Characters, Supporting Characters, and Element Characters within a 4 Act 12 Section Plot Structure, which prints out to 15 pages of pure thrilling psychotic potential.
What a feat indeed, I say, and I’m absolutely loving the forecasted drama, conflicts, and danger.
Now, I begin the task of structuring the first act, rearranging and grouping plot points by sections, then chapters, then finally, developing the scenes that will tie all those plot points together. Oh, the story engineering fun I’m going to have, ha!
One thing that I’ve learned in doing all this, well, not really learned, more like I’ve become consciously aware of, is the way plot points are presented to the reader.
In developing a character one of the first things thought of is their goal. When I develop characters, there are four important parts I focus on in creating their engine, the force that propels or drives them.
Those four parts are:
1. Goal: What the character wants.
2. Motive: Why they want it.
3. Stakes: What’s lost if they fail
and now the recently acquired
4. Anchor: The underlying reason the character can’t just walk away from their goal.
Now, as you see, Goal is at the top of the list. What I’ve recently become consciously aware of is that a character’s Goal is usually the last thing presented among that list of four, and Motive is actually presented first in regards to storytelling.
In examining a lot of other stories, I noticed that a character’s Motive was shown first, then what the character has to lose based on motive, next the reason they just can’t walk away from their situation, and lastly we are presented with what the character actually wants to achieve based on the previously mentioned circumstances.
I realized that you can’t really show a character’s goal without firsts showing their motivation to reach that goal. Some of you may have already known this, but like I said, I was aware of it but not I consciously aware of it until I starting slapping my character’s plot point into my story structure for this project.
Well, with writing, you learn something new every day, huh?
So, let me ask, what are some things you learned while in the process of developing or writing a story?