Fiction Writing Secret Number 2 – Creating the Character Driven Plot

Most fiction writers begin with a list of events they want to include in their story. Often they open with action–an accident, a crime, a storm–for no particular reason except to start the plot.

However, a story is more compelling if the protagonist’s own action sets the plot in motion. Think about it: you’ve worked hard to create a likable protagonist. Put him in charge of his own story!

If the antagonist acts first, and the protagonist only reacts, you’d better be writing a detective story. Otherwise, you are writing pulp fiction. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course–but in this 토토사이트 article we are discussing making your work more compelling.

Disaster stories are rarely read more than once because nothing the protagonist does tempts the volcano to erupt, the levee to break, or the iceberg to hit the ship. No matter how heroic your protagonist, he can only react to the event. Do I hear you say Titanic? The main plot of that film is not the sinking of the ship, but Rose’s story, which she drives by her own–scandalous for her time–actions.

If the protagonist attracts the antagonist’s ire by seeking a personal goal, the story draws the reader much further in, and provides a stronger connection to the protagonist. The idea is to integrate the protagonist’s action and the antagonist’s response.

In children’s stories the motives of protagonist and antagonist are often only tenuously associated. Dorothy just wants to save Toto and see a different world from dustbowl Kansas. Although she does not make it to the cyclone cellar because she was acting on her desire to protect Toto, her wish still comes true by sheer coincidence. However, there is a convention in fantasy that wishes have power.

As to provoking the antagonist, though, it is none of Dorothy’s doing that her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, making an enemy of the Wicked Witch of the West. If you are writing a children’s fantasy, that tenuous connection is acceptable. However, even in children’s fantasy it is possible to have a protagonist who entirely drives the plot.

The Little Mermaid creates all her own problems by literally loving out of her element (much like Rose in Titanic). The sea-witch merely provides the means for the mermaid to attain her desire. Even in the gentler Disney version the mermaid pays a symbolic price: her voice, representing communication, as she enters a country more foreign than any of us have ever known; and pain when she walks, representing her insistence on doing something she was never designed for. It is a more compelling story because The Little Mermaid drives the plot with her own desires and actions

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