Monday, January 17, 2011

What's on the Page?

Another process I use to get my characters and story set in my mind while "stewing and brewing" is Story Magic by Robin Perini and Laura Baker.

This method was taught to me several years ago and I've used pieces of it to help me complete my plot and fully realize my character's place in the story.

I use the conflict grid which is a three column table that has the hero and heroine's name across the top. In the case you have a villain, you could add their name as well. Down the side are listed: inciting incident, long range goal, short range goal, character flaw, relationship barrier, crisis/black moment, and realization. You fill out each of these for each character. If it's done right you see the conflict between the characters and you set up the plot of the story.

Inciting Incident: The moment or event that sparks the start of your character's journey in this story.
Long Range Goal: What the character believes is needed to fulfill his/her life.
Short Range Goal: What needs to be met to work toward the long term goal.
Character Flaw: The flaw that will get in their way as they go toward that goal.
Relationship Barrier: What keeps them apart.
Crisis/Black Moment: That moment when all is lost and they find that inner strength to do the right thing that will fulfill their short term goal.
Resolution: all is right and their long term goal is realized.

This is just another way of digging deeper into your plot and characters to make sure you have a solid story before you start writing.


M Pax said...

I envy you can get that all set up before you write. I can't nail all that down until after the first draft. As I write more, perhaps that will change.

Paty Jager said...

Mary after several books that I wrote by the seat of my pants I find I can get a solid story built and written by doing this before hand. And it keeps me grounded in the dirction the story needs to move.

Marianne Stephens said...

I imagine a travel agent has so much background about places that writing a story based in a different country would bring so much realism to the book!
Living on a floating home? How intriguing!