Last Saturday I went to a writers' workshop in Columbus on plotting. As you may or may not know, plotting is my downfall. Most of my other writing skills have shown steady improvement over the ten years that I've been writing seriously, but creating credible, character-driven plots is still beyond my abilities.
Hosted by the Central Ohio Fiction Writers group, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, the seminar was presented by Laurie Schnebly Campbell. Although it was geared primarily towards romance writers (don't sneer -- they have about a 500% better chance of being published than other genres, because romance sells) there were good points for all fiction writers.
She talked about the impact of birth order on personality (oldest kids are used to being first and make every effort to stay there, second kids will compete, but usually in a different arena, youngest kids--well, we all know what youngest kids are like). And about the four priorities that drive people's lives (excellence, comfort, pleasing and control).
She showed us an Enneagram that reviewed 9 different personality traits (perfectionst, nurturer, achiever, romantic, etc.) and showed how they linked with the others.
And then she explained how you can use all this information to drive your plot.
Told you that to tell you this: I haven't been in Blogworld much this week, because the book is moving forward again. And although I love you all dearly, and can't think how I used to get through life without you, producing a good novel (whether or not it ever gets published), a novel I'm proud of, is my life's dream.
So I'll probably be a little scarce, until I either finish a first draft (yay!) or run dry again.
Last Week's Winners:
I got tons of great recommendations for truly funny comedians. I'll be featuring clips (and saying who contributed them) on Web Wednesdays over the coming weeks.
This Week's Prompt:
Create a character in your mind. Define his/her gender, age, birth order, priority and anything else significant you know about him/her.
Bad news: your character just got fired.
Now tell me how he or she will react, and why, based on the qualities you've given him or her.