This week my study focus is on ultimate stakes. Here's a clip from Donald Maas' Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook exploring the ultimate stakes.
The first draft of my latest novel Mirror, Mirror—Who's the Next to Die is completed and has been for some time, so I've started the hard work of the second draft. I want to make my main character as three-dimensional as possible so I'm asking questions—why does she get up in the morning. Why does she do the things she does? What motivates her? I thought I knew, but as I started asking questions (interviewing her), I found out I didn't. I want to find the perfect combination for her. Enough conflict in her life to make her interesting and enough strength in her life to make me want to be like her.
Another book I've been delving into is Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble and on page 98, he talks about Terrible Secrets. Do you have a terrible secret? Most of us do. Mr. Noble asks how many of us would be comfortable telling about our secrets. If you would not be, then it's a terrible secret or one worth writing about. I'm not telling mine, but I'm trying to come up with a terrible secret for my character, Jill McKeel, to live with. I haven't figured it out yet.
Does anyone remember the show I've Got a Secret? I found it interesting to follow the clues in order to guess the secret. I believe the same concept is why many readers keep turning the page. They want to put the clues together to reveal the secret.
How well do you know what motivates your character? How well do you know what motivates you? Have you ever thought about it? I'm thinking about it right now. What motivates me?
Does your writing reveal secrets? Even, many recipes are of greater interest because they have a secret ingredient. It's time for a confession (true or not). Share your thoughts about secrets that motivate.
A couple of other Muffin Blogs that speaks of characters are:
Elizabeth King Humphrey's "Introducing Your Characters"
Another of Mine (Cher'ley Grogg) "Making Your Characters a Character"
Books photo Cher'ley Grogg