Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dazed & Confused

What are my characters willing to sacrifice for each other...

This is the question that has plagued me since yesterday and I still haven't figured it out. I've printed off an article from Deb Hale's website on the topic to read and mull over and see if I can't come up with something.

I'm used to coming at this from a different angle. Usually I get my premise, my characters and their background. I'll do an outline of where the story will go then write a rough draft. By the end of the first draft, I know the characters well enough to be able to determine better the GMC, Sacrifice, etc. But because I have to have a synopsis to go with my first chapter for the editor, I have to do all of this without thoroughly knowing my characters yet. I haven't spent a couple months writing their story and seeing where they take me. Because, although I am definitely a plotter, the characters often still take me in unexpected directions and I discover as I go.

So this has been a struggle. And one I wouldn't even mind if I didn't feel under a time crunch to pull it off. I'm making progress, but the first chapter I have now will probably be pushed back to become the second or third chapter, so the actual first chapter still has to be written.

And I still have no idea what my characters are willing to give up for each other.


In other, unrelated news, I'm happy to report that Maxx has finally gotten her sh** together after constant nagging on my part and updated her blog. So if you need a good laugh (and who doesn't), check it out as she offers up her opinions on a certain type of shoewear that shall remain nameless.

7 comments:

julia said...

I've run into an interesting problem as I plot out the major points for my two main characters. They seem to have identical goals on the surface - reuniting with one another - but they crop up at different times in the narrative. I suppose that gives me automatic tension - sort of like a couple with intimacy timing problems.
Plus one character's sacrifice is in direct opposition to the sacrifice of the other. A good thing? Seemed bad while I was on the bus this morning, but suddenly it may in fact be what I've wanted all along.
Oh writing - the rollercoaster of emotions.

Kelly said...

Tell me about it. Although I think I'm making some progress over here as I hash things out and try to explore why my characters are doing what they're doing.

Melissa Marsh said...

You'll figure it out - it will come to you at the least expected moment.

Bailey Stewart said...

I have that same problem. I rely on my knowledge of the characters for the story - once I know them, then I can say "no, he wouldn't do that in a million years." Good luck with it.

Michelle said...

Good luck on figuring out the motivations! That's the hardest part. But you'll get there.

Tess said...

Interesting, isn't it, how some books present us with one problem, and others, a totally different one. GMC always seems to come naturally to me, but I imagine one of these days I'll get blocked on it like you.

Hope they reveal themselves soon :-)

Marty said...

I'm a pantzer, but have found that using a GMC chart has helped me identify the points of conflict for my H/h. It'll come...