July 08, 2012

The Not-So-Tangled Web

RickyNJ / Foter
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve gone back to the beginning of my antagonist’s journey to make sure I really know him and understand him; to flesh him out. I learned some really cool stuff about him and how his journey leads him, inevitably, to the climax of the book. His story is compelling and hopefully, he’ll come off that way on the page. 

Because compelling is what we want.

Are all my character’s compelling? Does their journey lead them, inexorably, to the conclusion I have in mind for them?

Well, to make sure, I’m re-constructing my outline from each character’s perspective. Plotting the points of connectivity among all the characters’ timelines. It’s amazing to see how each of them follows their own path to a point of crisis together.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to come up with this idea, but it feels freakin’ brilliant; and I’m stoked at all the sub-plots that are introducing themselves. What crazy, heartbreaking, fateful lives my characters have led.

It’s a not-so-tangled web of stories that must lead, with logic and causality, to the resolution of the plot. Like a spider’s web, each strand is woven in and around the others until they are all massed together at the strongest point of the structure, the centre. Or, for the purpose of my metaphor, the climax of the story.

So, perhaps, if you’re finding a need for depth in your writing, try seeing the story from a satellite character’s point of view. It may get you over a plateau, out of your writer’s block, or maybe even lead you into a sequel (yay!); either way, it will strengthen your bond with your characters and hopefully, your readers’ bond also.

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