13 March 2013

Dramatic Action or Character Emotional Development?

Today's plot phone consultation reveals yet again how writers show a preference either for writing about characters over dramatic action or writing about dramatic action over character emotional development.

The case in point becomes obvious when I consider what I remember about her story from a 15 minute plot consultation earlier in the year. Back then, the concept of her story qualified as "high concept", the exotic world intriguing and thought-provoking, the journey exciting and full of conflict and tension and action packed.

I did not remember much about the protagonist other than she was tough and a rebel and likable. I remembered absolutely nothing about the second viewpoint character and even that there was a second viewpoint character.

During the consultation, this division between the development of the character and the action becomes even more obvious. Thanks to the writer's strength in developing the dramatic action plot and the exotic world, she can leave those go for now and concentrate on what could very well be her weakness (generally we shy away from tasks we don't feel we're very good at and gravitate towards those activities we feel we can excel at): character emotional development.

Good news is she's got a terrific story and the work she does with the characters and the theme have the potential to make her story truly great.

What's your preference? Writing about external dramatic action? Writing about character emotional development?

1) Read How to Get Moving on Your Work in Progress: A Review of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts by Sue Bradford Edwards on WOW! Women on Writing and enter to win in the 5-Book-Giveaway for The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing

Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot allows for a more loving relationship with your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts in The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing

2) Feature Article:
Emotional Elements of Plot
Showing how a character feels fuses the relationship between characters and the audience or reader. Showing how the character transforms delivers on the promise of your story. Learn the difference. Plot tips how and where to develop transformational emotional maturity. Read the entire article:
http://www.scriptmag.com/features/emotional-elements-of-plot .

Today, I write.

To familiarize yourself with the basic plot terms used here and in the PW Book of Prompts:
1) Watch the plot playlists on the Plot Whisperer Youtube channel.
2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3) Fill out the exercises in The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
4) Visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
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