22 June 2009

Mystery and Romance Genres

In filling out the standard Character Emotional Plot Information (see **below), writers who write in the mystery genre invariably list the character goal as solving the mystery. Writers who write in the romance genre invariable list the character goal as finding love or to get the guy. This is fine.

However, to create more complexity to your plot, you may want to give the protagonist an additional goal(s) as well. 

The protagonist has a life, and thus, goal, before the mystery hits or before the love interest arrives on scene. In other words, the protagonist has a goal before the story itself begins. Identify that goal and you create an additional plot line in the story. Create a personal goal that conflicts with the solving of the mystery goal or the getting the guy = added drama. 

**Character Emotional Plot Information

1. What is this character's goal?

2. What stands in the way of the character achieving his/her goal?

3. What does the character stand to lose if he/she does not achieve his/her goal?

4. What is the character's flaw or greatest fault?

5. What is the character's greatest strength?

6. What does the character hate?

7. What does the character love?

8. What is the character's greatest fear?

9. What is the character's dream?

10. What is the character's secret?