28 June 2013

A Coming of Age Story or Rediscovering a Lost Skill?

She's confused about how best to begin her middle-grade historical novel.

After  many drafts, she's perfected the plot and structure of her story and seamlessly incorporated a fascinating historical character and event into a contemporary story. Now, as we consider only the first quarter of her story, it becomes clear that the writer has not yet completely determined the depth of who her protagonist truly is.

She tells me the young male protagonist use to be brave and then lost his courage due to the backstory wound inflicted by the sudden death of his father. Yet, as she conveys her scenes to me, it becomes clear that there is confusion between whether he has always been wimpy and scared versus having once been brave and then lost his courage.

As she decides which traits he embodies at the beginning of the story, she then must decide whether those traits will change and develop over the course of the entire story and lead to his ultimate transformation or whether old strengths that have been lost due to his backstory will be rediscovered along the way. This is a subtle yet pivotal difference that affects the tone and emotion of the entire story.


1) Track Your Plot at the Scene Level Webinar
Learn to Maximize the 7 essential plot elements in every scene (one of 7 essential plot elements in every scene is CONFLICT) from the comfort of your own home.

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 inThe Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing

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
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter