Saturday, May 5, 2012

These Boots Were Made for Walking!

And that's what every character must do. In every story - every good story - a character must walk through the proverbial doorway of change. When the story begins, they must be one way, and when the story ends, they must be another. After all, the story is the telling of their journey from point A to point B. Without the journey, you have no tale to tell.

Your character also has a point of decision making. If they choose the left path, they end up one way and if they choose the right path, they end up another.

I will again use one of my characters to illustrate this point.

Temujin, from Yassa (due out in June) -

When the tale begins, Temujin is just nine years old. He is an innocent young man who is about to be betrothed to an innocent young girl. When his father is murdered and he is left in charge of his family, he experiences change. "But," you say, "That wasn't a choice!" Quite right. That is not his proverbial door, he was just a victim of circumstance in that situation. His doorway presents itself when he is ten years old and is forced to make a decision on whether or not to kill his half brother, Bekhter. If Temujin kills the young man, he will be an outlaw. If he doesn't, there's a good chance Bekhter will murder Temujin in his sleep. What to do?

Once a character passes through the door, their life must change forever. There must be no way to return to what they knew before. If you murder someone, you are a murderer and will go to prison - appealing? - and that will irrevocably change your life forever. It's not something you can take back or undo and it will change you when it changes your life. A good story has this moment; usually within the first third of the book.

Yassa's prologue is written from a different point of view than the rest of the book and provides a moment of change for the antagonist, Jamuka. Temujin's moment of change doesn't happen until the end of chapter 3 on page 50. Yassa is around 400 pages long so you can see that the moment of change happens well within the first third of the story.

A journey for a character from the moment of change until some sort of resolution is reached is the rest of your book. Resolution is almost always found in the last fourth of the book. I have found a few books where resolution is on the very last page. It depends on your writing style.

Just remember, one thing is universally true no matter what kind of story you are writing. Your character must change and walk through a door.

What characters do you remember most and what was their moment of change? Discuss!

Time to head out! I will be back Monday!

If you missed it, don't forget to grab your copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One today!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


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