21 September 2010

Authentic Details Reflect Character's Inner Life & Change within the Story

Once you have your first, second, third + drafts written and you're set on the overall plot, major scenes and turning points, character growth and transformation, and have a sense of your overall theme, turn your attention to "every word perfect."

I know, by the time you've written countless drafts, you're eager (desperate!) to send your story out for feedback from your agent or to query to entice an agent to request your manuscript. If you can hold back, take the time to print out a hard copy of your novel, memoir, or screenplay and read every word with an analytical mind -- can you pump up that common verb for a punchier one? Substitute that cliche with a fresh way of understanding her sensibilities?

Where a character lives; the clothes she wears; the car she drives; what she keeps in her medicine cabinet; her refrigerator; her make-up bag; choice of pictures on the wall of her apartment, townhouse, or mansion  are all an externalization of the character's inner life and mean something. 

Authentic Details in the Beginning, Middle, End:
In the Beginning (1/4)*** of the story, the authentic details you relay reflect the character as she is starting out the story.

In the Middle (1/2)***, the details shift to reflect her as she journeys into the great unknown. 

The authentic details she surrounds herself with at the End (1/4)*** reveals the character's true, authentic details -- hers and hers alone -- and deepens the reader's understanding of who the character is now = the character's ultimate transformation. 

Oh, and now is a great time to grab your pen and pad of paper and follow along with the Plot Series:How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? to plot your next story. That way, when every word is perfect in the story you're finishing up now, you'll have the next one all plotted and ready to go... That's the plan, anyway... Hope you stop by...

(***These divisions are not rules based on formula but guidelines based on the energetic form of the Universal Story)