Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits: Deliver On Your Promise

Remember her? Remember that doe-eyed optimist who was simply living her life... minding her business at the beginning of your story?  Thought you would. You began your story by painting a picture of her normal, run-of-the-mill life... and then something happened to her. An event rocked her world. Turned it upside down. And she went on a quest to discover rhyme and reason and make sense of it all.

When you first introduced her, you inherently promised something. You promised she was going to grow and evolve and change... for the better of course. Just like cold, ugly iron is subjected to the fire and heat of the forge in order to become a sharply honed sword. So it was with your character. She faced insurmountable odds. She met with failure again and again on her journey for truth and understanding.

The final piece of the plotting puzzle, is to Deliver On Your Promise.
In my original post Keep Yer Pants On, Plot By Numbers I suggested that you could follow simple, effective plot points to aid your story. A lot of people disagree with plotting. They think it's the devil... the antithesis of good writing. Character determines all. And I say there's a place for characters leading the way and there's a place for events leading the way. They are for different types of books.

What my original post, and subsequent series have been about are ways to lead your character through a tried and true series of events.
Grab Your Reader By The Nose
Rock Your Character's World
Hit Your Character In The Jaw... A Few Times
Deliver On Your Promise

I think even the most hard core character-driven "pantsers" can recognize hints of truth in what I've presented. Because they are more or less elements of good story telling.

So back to our girl. We've led her through hell and back and she has grown and changed. There should've been a physical transformation and/ or mental and/ or emotional. And then she emerged on the far side... glorious and triumphant. She's discovered things about herself and her world... discovered her own powers and how to wield them. And she's not the same little girl anymore.

I hope you enjoyed this series. I'm open to any comments and an open dialogue on anything I've written.