Blurring character and plot

Think about your fiction portfolio by writing out answers to these questions. Your answers are not promises to me or your portfolio. Page numbers refer to Percy’s Thrill Me.

  • What does your character look like? What do they like to think about? Hate to think about? Do their thoughts contrast with their appearance? Their actions? The things they say? How so? If not, why not?
  • Who are three of the people in your character’s life. Devote a sentence to each.
  • What is the character’s desire, the “human urgency” (21) that drives them? What is at risk for them if they don’t satisfy it?
  • What obstacle or danger might keep them from their desire? What “lower order goals” (23) might help them reach it?
  • How would this specific character respond to at least three dangers or obstacles? How might those responses get them closer to or farther from what they want? What kind of (if any) “goals” might they set?
  • What new, more-dangerous danger presents itself as a result of the character’s response to dangers, obstacles, or efforts to reach a goal? How does the resolution of the first mystery reveal a second (35-36)?
  • What would the character NOT do to get what they want? How might readers know?
  • What are the consequences of the character’s desires and efforts to get what they want for other characters? For how the character thinks of him or herself? How does the character cope with these consequences?
  • How is this character’s heart in conflict with itself?
  • What external dilemmas or “higher order goals” (21) might this character face as they encounter these dangers?
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