On to Booko Numero Dos!

A little Spanglish to announce I’m going to be writing my second book in 2018!

I have completed a rough draft of Tribe (my first book)but it would need an absurd amount of edits to really come together.  Such is the result when you write the first draft of your first book and don’t complete enough outlining.

So, I’m putting Tribe in a virtual drawer and I’m going to spend a few months developing the plot, characters, and themes I want undergirding my next story.

I’m hoping this helps me create a cohesive story, and not just a sequence of interesting events–one right after the other.

This has been something I have been struggling with, but luckily I’m reading an awesome book that has rocked my world.  It’s called The Anatomy of Story by John Truby.Truby-book-jacket.jpgThis book has changed the way I view writing.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the lessons it has been teaching me.

Work From the End to the Beginning with your Main Character

Character change is a necessity in any story.  We all love to see a character challenge their deep seated beliefs and come to new conclusions about how to live a good life.  Often, the audience can see the character changing before the character becomes aware of their own change.

But this is much easier said than done.

Truby recommends starting with the end of the story.  Imagine where you want the character to be at the end of the story.  What do they value?  What decisions do they make?

Then push that character to the other end of the spectrum at the beginning of the story.  Now you have your starting point and end point.  You’ve set yourself up.  No matter where your character goes, you know what you want to be true of your character at the end of the story.

This avoids a “light switch” moment at the end of the story where the character suddenly changes and it feels inauthentic.  This is known as character shift and writers need to avoid this! Working from the end to the beginning allows you to have a macro view of your character and keep their “change” in mind throughout the story!  Small decisions made by your character creates a domino effect and builds until the character has a moment of revelation.

What is a great example of character change in one of your favorite books or movies?  Why do you like it so much?

2 Replies to “On to Booko Numero Dos!”

  1. Good insight. It strikes me that the book “A Man Called Ove” (that you wrote about recently) does what you are describing. I’m not sure if the Fredrik Backman followed the strategy of working from the end to the beginning, but Ove’s change develops slowly and authentically as the story progresses. The author was definitely true to his character. No wonder “A Man Called Ove” is such an amazing story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree! The change is slow. We see Ove’s change through small, yet momentous decisions like putting the child’s drawing on his fridge. I would argue the momentous moral self-revelation at the end of the story comes when Ove decides to intervene on Rune’s behalf, despite being estranged for many years. This is what his change is building towards throughout.

      Like

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