Developing the Character’s Journey

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As you may remember from last week, I recently tore apart an old MG and began making a new draft from the remains. So there I was, 14,000 words into this draft, when I realized the first few chapters didn’t really mesh with where the story seemed to be wanting to head.

So I went back and tried to re-write the beginning. Then I did it again. And again. And then a fourth time, because apparently I’m a slow learner.

Finally I realized, it wasn’t the story’s opening that wasn’t working, it was something deeper.

What could it be? I had a gripping plot. Characters I loved. Fleshed out villains with believable motivation. But…maybe my MC’s journey wasn’t as strong as it could be. She wasn’t changing enough over the course of the story, and the one obstacle she did have to overcome wasn’t exactly a major, life-changing one.

Great. All I had to do was fix that, and I’d be on my way.

After a few hours of alternating between staring at a blank screen and checking in on Twitter, I finally decided to start reading some writing blogs to see if they could steer me in the right direction. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Seriously.

I’m not sure what Google gods got me to this page, but if you’re a writer, I seriously suggest you check out K.M. Welland’s Creating Stunning Character Arcs series starting here. It really helped me figure out my character and how she needed to grow, as well as figuring out the plot of the story.

I’m super excited to be writing away again, and I’m already at over 8,000 words in less than a week (with two P.D./holidays in there to slow me down). I don’t normally plot my stories out this thoroughly before writing (I’m a plotter-pantser combo), but this time erring more on the side of plotter definitely seems to be the way to go.

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