Thursday, November 1, 2012

Revisions Day 1

We are going to begin the revision workshop

Operation Code Red!

with character revamps. Let's begin with your story's hero or heroine, you main character, otherwise known as your protagonist.

Take a good look at him/her anf go through this checklist, checking off things you feel is perfect about your MC:

1. Is he fleshed out with plenty of likable traits and enough flaws to make him believable?
2. Will the reader want to keep reading about her for the entire story? WHY?
3. Is there anything I can do to add more depth to my MC? What makes him unique and interesting?
    a) Is he funny, quirky, charming or intelligent?
    b) Is he a misfit, geek or underdog determined to win?
    c) Does she live in circumstance not merited, but never complains?
    d) Are there things in her life that readers can relate to, respond to?
    e) Is someone after him or is he in danger or deathly sick?

What makes your MC interesting enough to make readers care for him or her?

If you answered, "I don't know" then it's time to add some stand out character qualities to your MC!

How?

Your MC must go through a change - a change to make her a better person. This is called a character arc. The best way to to know if your character has changed during the story is pretty simple. Here's what I do:

Take a highlighter and and mark every instance where you talk about your MC's character. Does he start out rebellious and hateful, full of anger?  Mark it, then book mark it so you can find it again easily. In the next chapter, does the hate turn to bitterness? Mark it! A few chapters later, your MC turns even more bitter and spiteful. Mark it!

Keep this up until you have finished the story. In the end, your MC should have resolved the anger and let go of his bitterness. Now, read through the marked passages, and ONLY the highlighted areas. Does your MC make a full circle on the inward journey? Do you see any gaps in his journey or maybe inconsistencies? Now's the time to revise these areas!

Take your time and think about your character. Three dimensional characters don't come easily!

Congratulations! You are now ready for step two of your revisions!

9 comments:

  1. this is terrific advice! i'm passing it on!

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  2. Wonderful checklist and food for thought!

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  3. love your suggestions. getting my highlighter ready!

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    Replies
    1. My favorite color is pink...what's yours? :)

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  4. Great post! Definitely gonna have to file this checklist away :-) (Though, in the case of an MC who spirals into all the evil by the end, I checked the opposite of some of 'em :-P Good el' evil.)

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  5. Great checklist, and I'm definitely printing this out am going to do this as I go over the revisions again. Thank you.

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