Tags: decision

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Writing Excuses 7.15: Editing Mary's Outline

Writing Excuses 7.15: Editing Mary's Outline

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/04/08/writing-excuses-7-15-editing-marys-outline/

Key Points: Inciting incident and tone need to be clear from the start. Make sure to include emotional cues. Don't forget the characterization! What defines the character? Make sure the reader knows the starting state (establishing shot!). Decision Point! What is the problem for the book, and decide to overcome it. Readers should be able to pronounce names and tell them apart. Visual cues can help. If characters change their minds, make sure something leads them to it. Escalate! Don't let the Monkey King take over. Make sure characters have conflicts, problems, skills, and flaws that show us who they are. Make sure your outline highlights the plot elements, the progression, the problems being worked through, and the conflicts -- not eating fruit. Consider giving the readers the map (ala Dora the Explorer). 
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[Mary] All right. I have a writing prompt for you. This started off as a retelling of a Chinese folktale. So, what I want you to do is I want you to take a folktale and retell it in the Dora the Explorer formula. So make it a quest story, and just go ahead and outline it for right now.
[Brandon] Okay. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
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Writing Excuses 5.9: Character Arcs with John Brown

Writing Excuses 5.9: Character Arcs with John Brown

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/10/31/writing-excuses-5-9-character-arcs/

Key points: Character arcs are about character's change, growth, learning. Often either as a problem in the plot or to provide a key to unlock the problem in the plot. You can either plan where you want the character to go, or throw an issue at them and see what they learn. Watch for being bored with a character -- often a sign of a failing character arc. Make sure they have highs and lows, pits and dilemmas and tests, learning and decisions.
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[Dan] Oh, sweet. Well, all right then. Your characters are trapped on an emotionally-responsive roller coaster that mimics their own emotional arc. How do they use that knowledge to escape?
[Brandon] Oh, that's genius. Okay. Man, you just earned your check.
[Dan] Yay!
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
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Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 20: The Difference between Character Driven and Plot Driven Sto

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 20: The Difference between Character Driven and Plot Driven Stories

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/10/11/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-20-plot-vs-character-driven-fiction/

Key Points: What is driving the story -- who the characters are or what events are they involved with? What draws the reader in -- how does this end or who is Sally? Both kind create tension in readers, and require conflict. Is the climax a confluence of events or a character decision/change? When the characters' internal moments and the plot's external moments all line up, that's thrilling. Does the plot revolve around a discovery, a decision, or an action? Strong characters make plots interesting. Make your characters strong enough to carry the story.
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[Brandon] I think that's a great note to end on. Larry, we want you to give us a writing prompt. Just off the top of your head. I'm putting you on the spot. This is what happens. A writing prompt for our listeners.
[Larry] Come up with a plot driven story and try to make it good with boring characters.
[Dan] Ignore all the advice we've just given you.
[Howard] We've just made them run laps for no reason.
[Brandon] Someone's already done that. His name is Dan Brown.
[Larry] Oh. Burn. Snap.
[Howard] You can get Dan Brown's stuff on audible.com.
[Brandon] Yes, you can. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.