Hello! Thanks for your interest in my writing!

I created this combination blog and website to make my life easier so I can focus on adventuring, writing, and wellness. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Bitter Choices for Better Plots

I love this post called Add a Luke Skywalker Moment: Give Your Main Character a Bitter Choice by Janet Fox on the Jane Friedman blog. In it, Janet shares a learning experience she had that helped her improve her novel by amping up the decisions her protagonist. 

If you're a writer, please head over and read the entire post. I love this quote from it: 

"A bitter choice creates a balance edge, tipping the character and audience one way or the other."

Adding more nuance to the defining moments in our story can make it a more satisfying read.  Here's my interpretation of what a bitter decision is:

  • There are two or more choices. 
  • All choices have significant downsizes.  
  • The bitter decision challenges the character and reveals their major flaw. 

As I think about the novels I've written and am considering, there are usually five or six key decisions my protagonist needs to wrestle. Not all can be bitter choices, but it's helpful to ensure all of these plot points are satisfying and complex.

Do they run the background check on their new love because there's something not quite right about their story?

Do they set up a sting that no one else knows about and risk failing with no help in sight if it goes sideways?

Do they gamble on their partner's life to safe another?

And I will challenge myself that if I don't have half a dozen questions like this my plot might not be there yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment