Posts Tagged ‘plot’

Character development… what exactly is it? I’ve never really tried to pin it down, but I do know, that I enjoy a book more if the characters develop as the story progresses. What I mean, is that they grow as a person, learn about themselves, their strengths and desires. It doesn’t have to be essential to the plot either. So for example, a character who ends up on a spaceship having to figure out how to save the world from the evil aliens, can develop by going from ‘the person in gym class who was always picked last’ to ‘the person everyone looks towards for guidance and eventually becomes the leader of the group’. That is to say, that the character finds strength to believe in what they think the best options are and speaks up, as opposed to just accepting that because they had no friends, they were picked last in gym class, even though they were better in goal than bully billy. The character developed as a person. I think it makes it more believable and pulls the reader in. Having a strong leader type person who was strong and confident from the beginning wouldn’t have as much impact…. unless they developed in other ways… perhaps tried to be less condescending, became someone who would except help etc.

So I know how I want my main character to develop throughout, but as it’s not tied into particular sections of the plot, it’s hard to work out when and where it’ll happen. It’s a gradual development so I think I’ll make a list of how she develops from start to finish and perhaps tick them off as it appears in the novel.

Or maybe I’m thinking too much about it and should just hope she develops naturally…

Well I’ve made a start on the basic plot. It starts with:

  1. Main character normal day. Day off. Therapeutic shopping.
  2. Weird things happening in town. HIDDEN FROM BLOG. More fights than usual. Police everywhere. Millitary spotted.
  3. HIDDEN FROM BLOG
  4. Tv news explaining HIDDEN FROM BLOG crowds watching news in tv shop window
  5. Can’t get home. Road blocks. Chaos. HIDDEN FROM BLOG. Fights. Fires. Looting. Screams. HIDDEN FROM BLOG
  6. HIDDEN FROM BLOG

I’ve hidden bits from the blog as I obviously don’t want to tell the story here but you get the gist. I’ve got to point 23 so far. I know that the above is probably the basic beginning to an apocalypse story, but I want to set the scene of HIDDEN FROM BLOG quite quickly so this will probably all be in first chapter.

When I have finished plotting the whole novel like this, I’m going back to flesh it out some more so each point could be padded out to… say 10 points.

I have decided that I do want to decide on the character’s personalities etc before writing… so their character is consistent all of the way through.

Anyway… just a short post, as I need to get plotting some more…

With not having a clue where to start, I trawled the internet for basic novel writing tips. It seems that there are 2 main ways to begin. 1. Just sit down and begin writing. See where it takes you. 2. Make a plan. Plan the theme, plot, characters, ending etc.

I like the idea of option 1 but I tend to babble and go off topic. There is a very strong possibility that my novel could become long and boring with this option. On the other hand, by not planning, and going off topic could lead to something new and exciting with twists and turns. However, I’m going with option 2. Planning. Mainly because with a book about an apocalypse, I really do need a reason for the end of the world and an excellent ending to the book. Without planning, I would probably just drone on about people trying to survive whatever is bringing the world to an end.

I’ve also been reading through the forums on NaNoWriMo and it appears as if it’s pretty much 50/50 on what people do… some people wing it… some people plan everything in minute detail, to the point that they know their characters names, what they wear, every chapter, twist, climax and exactly how they want it to end. I think I’m going to be in the middle of the two. I’ll plan the basic plot and main characters but if new characters and twists appear as I write it, then so be it. The fact that I’ll be attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days is stressful enough without being too cautious about not missing out any details of a really thoroughly planned plot.

So which way do you begin?