Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Using backstory to create internal conflict in the transformational character arc

lol, I seriously remember putting someone to sleep--okay, a "lot" of someones to sleep with these titles. Their eyes would glaze over, and they'd start to twitch like all they really wanted was to run away screaming. This is a little bit more about point A. Or where the transformational arc starts. Point A doesn't just control how the arc is shown and what needs to happen; it also controls internal conflict, which is the push and pull of need (subconscious motivation) and want (conscious motivation).

8 comments:

Lisa said...

Thank you, Jodi. The examples make it so clear how important core events are on motivation and goals and also why only these two people are right for one another.

Are you going to write this Regency romance? :-)

Jodi Henley said...

lol, Lisa. :) I love regencies and I have boxes of them (all typewritten of course) under my bed. I suspect I pull from them to set up my situations, but I'd need more time than I have to write them out.

...or maybe I will. :) There's got to be a better way to use up all the bits and pieces of time.

whew, back again--weird what random thoughts come up when you're commenting. I just ordered an Alphasmart Neo. :) Should have done it years ago. (((hugs))) Thanks, Lisa. I'm dedicating the regency to you...whenever it gets finished, lol

Lisa said...

Ooooh! Shiny new gadget. Now I want one!!!

I've been thinking about my two protagonists and I've discovered their back stories through a mixtureof writing exercises, gut instinct, and the "yes, yes, yes!" feelings that arise when something slots into place.

But to ensure that my two characters are a good match only for each other, is it a case of manipulating and tweaking their back stories and needs, or diving deeper to try and find something that will work? Or is there a better way? I realise that there will be a pivotal scene in the story where they each realise just how the other is 'indispensable' given their needs, but it's making sure they tie up together that's the challenge.

And I'll be among the first readers to dive into that regency whenever it's ready. I love how the two characters are such a good match and that it's not a contrived, raging hormones type of relationship. :-)

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

I should add that hormones are great, very necessary, but I like my characters to have more going for their relationships than that. :-)

Jodi Henley said...

although I'd love to say it's all about diving deeper (because that makes it sound better), I've noticed over years of working on manuscripts that most of the time people unconsciously fight things that might work because they know it's not the way their story is. And a lot of that is simply the gut instinct a character-driven writer brings to the process.

But...people are usually open to minor tweaks in what they've already written and it preserves the greatest amount of word count so there aren't any massive rewrites. Manipulation and tweaking works wonders, if you think of it as simply looking at what's already there to see if bringing something out a little more, pushing it into the background, or turning it around to see if there's a different way of approaching it will trim away generalizations and add more specifics.

I had my h/h live next to each other (which is a minor piece of set up). Back during the regency, estates were pretty big and it limits the number of people who interacted on a consistent basis. Their common background (as members of the upper class) would make them logical playmates and it's not much of an extension to think they'd talk and grow closer.

If I'd had them friends (without living next to each other), to tighten their connection, I'd simply move his estate closer (easy to do since it's all virtual) and increase the amount of virtual time they'd spent hanging out fishing in the lake, looking at the clouds, arguing over cards and stuff.

(and I love hormones, too. They create explosive situations. :) )

Alison Packard said...

Great podcast, Jodi. I can never get enough of core events, they're really are the basis for everything. IMO.

PS: I'd read that regency too. LOL.

Jodi Henley said...

lol, Alison. Now that I have an alphasmart, I think I can get it done. I'm totally in love with this thing and it's increased my productivity. :) Love it.