Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Plot and Characters

So, I'm having a hard time coming up with a flaw for my main character. I've decided that she is a florist, and that her mother was a Junior College professor while her father was a fire fighter. I know that her parents did not have an easy time when they first met because her mother was from a traditional Greek family and her father was from a middle class American family. I also know that her parents encouraged her greatly while growing up and this lead her to become a florist of her own flower shop. Nea is relatively peaceful and quite motherly. The Leader, the one who takes care of the rest of the group.... I know there is a flaw in there, but I just can't find the right one. Her motivation is that she feels the need to protect the people around her... especially since some of the people with her are a bit on the dumb side and would likely die without her.

Huh... while writing this out, I was discussing with one of my writing buddies what flaw she could have. I believe I have decided that Nea's flaw is that she can't let go. She can't leave anyone behind and she lets her screw ups haunt her. I believe this will provide a legitimate flaw and also make a decent plot device.

Switching gears to plot now, I think. The other day I was working on a synopsis or a book blurb sort of thing. Not because I think I need to have one, but more so because it helped me focus what I wanted my novel to be about. When someone asked me what I was writing about, I had the hardest time coming up with an easy to understand answer. So a couple nights ago I sat down and decided that I would write even if it wasn't coming out the way I wanted it to. I find that I have this issue a lot and it keeps me from getting anything done. As a practice for November, I just wrote what I wanted to say, even if I worded it badly and the following is what I came up with:

After an influenza vaccine is rushed to the public without proper trial, cases of cannibalism begin to pop up across the country that appears to a growing side effect. The media makes matters worse when they announce that people are coming back from the dead and attacking people. Nea Thatcher and a group of peculiar comrades must help each other stay alive and discover what really happened to the country.

Didn't like that version at all. Can you blame me? I sucks. But the next one, I am satisfied with and will be using it as a start point for much of my planning.

After an influenza vaccine with unforeseen side effects is thrust upon the public, the media induces mass panic by announcing that people are returning from the dead and attacking people. When a florist from a small mountain town in California saves a little-known daytime television actor, they decide to join with a small group of peculiar comrades to help each other stay alive and discover what really happened to the country.

While not perfect, it's much better, in my opinion. For anyone using the Snowflake Method, this is sort of an in between Step 1 and Step 2 for me.

As a final note, I'd like to say a little about motivation and not allowing things to deter you from your goal. I've had a lack of motivation over the last couple days due to illness and due to some internet issues. At first I was concerned that I was already running down on motivation. It's not even a full week into October! It was luckily a false alarm, though since I find myself feeling refreshed and motivated full speed ahead again! So, my advice is to not be afraid to take a day off for a break and rejuvenate your motivation.

In addition to this, don't let things needlessly deter you from reaching your goal. Sometimes I find that things make me worry about if I am doing the right story. It's not been as bad as normal this time around since I am so stubborn, but often I let stupid things like people with similar stories (or that my topic has been done to death) get me down. For example, I am working with Zombies. Or... "zombies" would be a better way to put it. Zombies are a big deal nowadays and it's not likely my novel would get picked up. This usually would make my motivation leak away, but I find this time around that I just don't care. I have a story to tell and I'm not letting anything stop me.

That's it for tonight, though. I am very tired!

1 comment:

  1. Good plot!
    I think anotherway of looking at your MCs flaw is that if they see themself as responsible for everyone, they might also be a tad interfering (think about when caring mothers cross boundaries).
    Certainly don't worry about your story being on a popular topic, that just creates more demand.
    Have fun with your zombies!