In his video “Make Your Characters Come Alive,” author James Scott Bell discusses the wisdom of mixing “plot” and “character.”
Plot without character bonding = action without engagement
Character without plot = overstaying a welcome
Bells also advises that plot needs to be about death. Physical death, professional death or psychological death. This applies even to comedy. Death is what raises the stakes. It can be death of a career, a job, a reputation, or the death of a way of being.
True character, he says, is revealed only in crisis—where death is on the line.
For more on Bell’s thoughts about creating characters that come alive watch his 8-minute video here:
For more tips on plot, read my earlier post, “Plotting a story is like solving a puzzle.”
In her short ebook, “2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love,” author Rachel Aaron shares tips on how she went from writing two thousand words per writing session to ten thousand. For more details, see Carly’s earlier post.
In Aaron’s chapter “How I Plot a Novel in 5 Easy Steps,” she says that Step 0 is deciding whether the idea you have for your story or novel is the idea that you really want to spend your time on. How do you know if it is?
1. You can’t stop thinking about it. You’re doing the dishes or some other menial chore and you find yourself totally lost in your thoughts about your story. Or, you’re at work and can’t seem to focus because your antagonist is whispering in your ear about his evil plans for your main character. Read more