Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fleshing Out Your MC

Conflict is essential to any good story, however, it's the emotional connection to the characters that drive the reader to keep turning the pages. Honestly, did anyone else stay up all night reading Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, worried who wouldn't make it out alive?

The possibility of Ron's death was my biggest fear.
So how do you create characters that people will care about?

Make them seem real, in other words flesh them out.

Donald Maas, President of the Donald Maas Literary Agency, regularly tweets tips on writing. Here are some of my favorites in regards to 'fleshing out' your main character.

1.What’s the big thing your MC must do at the end? Make it the one thing he/she has sworn never to do.

2. The thing your protagonist can’t let go: what’s the deeper reason why? Who grasps that reason before your protagonist does.

3. What’s the biggest thing your MC needs to know about himself? Give him five good reasons not to care. Tear each down, in steps.

4. What do you like most about your MC? How soon can we see that one the page? How often? Add more than you think.

5. What does your MC know about themself to be true? What don't they *see* that's even more true? Hit 'em with it.

6. What's a foundational attribute of your MC? Create an odd tick or habit that implies the opposite. Add six times and voila, a quirk.

Cheers!

Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.

8 comments:

J. A. Bennett said...

These are great tips! I need to do this :)

Bethany Myers said...

Thanks,happy writing.

T. Drecker said...

Thanks for pointing these out. I love these lists - much easier than reading an essay about the important things to remember.

Bethany Myers said...

I love lists, too. Good luck with your writing.

CD said...

Just to add to the discussion... If you go through the whole chart, your MC will definitely be something!http://www.epiguide.com/ep101/writing/charchart.html

Bethany Myers said...

Thanks, Claude.

Yasemin Fey said...

Love the list! It looks a lot like the tips and tricks the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program has in its exercise book.
And most important of all: Don't make your character a Mary Sue ;o)

Bethany Myers said...

No Mary Sue. Check. Got it.

Thanks, Yasemin.

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