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Monday, April 4, 2016

#AtoZchallenge C is for Character, Conflict, Choice

I feel lucky to land C for my first A to Z day. There's no guarantee I'll stick to writing topics this month, but C is so clearly Character, Conflict, and Choice.

These are the fundamental building blocks of every query and every story.

1. You need a character with goals.
2. There must be something that is preventing them from reaching that goal--conflict. This could be internal, external, or both.
3. The character needs to make a choice that matters. One that will move them closer to their goal or to failure. This process is often repeated until you reach that goal (or as in some books--die).

It's as simple as that.

Check out this great video clip. I wish I'd learned this earlier in my writing journey.


What other writerly C words can you think of? How do you dig deep for character development, conflict, and realistic choice making?


Check out the other participants HERE.

9 comments:

Huntress said...

I need to go back to the beginning and list my characters' goals. It clears my head and helps to visualize their traits as well.
Good exercise for the mind.

Lidy Wilks said...

I like building character profiles through interviews. Asking questions about their favorite color, food favorite subject in school, pet peeves, fears, their high school crush, etc.

miriamdrori.com said...

Critique, consistency.

JEN Garrett said...

Characters have to be complex, 'cause that's what makes them convincing!

Great post.

JEN Garrett

Chrys Fey said...

These are great C'so for writing. Miriam added two good ones as well. My least favorite C...commas. And my favorite...creativity. :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Characters need to grab the reader's attention and heart.

Darla M Sands said...

Ooh. Excellent post. I cannot think of a writerly "c" word except never, ever compromise (at least until you have to please an editor ~grin~). Be well!

Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
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Aderyn Wood said...

I agree, conflict is so important to keep readers interested. But, as a reader, I also enjoy it when a character overcomes conflict and takes a moment to enjoy their success. It's very satisfying to see your favourite character enjoy the glow of overcoming their challenges. But, this can't be drawn out, soon enough more conflict needs to be added to keep us engaged.

Liz A. said...

I think at the beginning, though, when one starts to write, one needs to just write things down. Figuring out conflict comes with experience.