Saturday, March 9, 2013

Knowing Your Characters


Knowing Your Characters:
A Lesson from my Agent

My agent's the bombdiggity. I know, I know! Everyone says that about their agent. But it's the truth.

I'm doing revisions for my agent, Nicole Resciniti, who I just signed with a couple months ago. I'm learning so much from her but one of the most important lessons has to do with plotting and characters. In order to fully execute the plot, leaving no holes, you have to know your characters inside and out.

Some backstory: I'm a recovering pantser. I started writing the manuscript I'm now revising with no outline, no character studies, nothing. I started with a single premise. I had to get from point A (the beginning of the story) to point B (the end of the story). Along the way I self-educated myself, got my first crit partners,  read more, and wrote more frequently. Eventually I queried the manuscript and wanted to start a new project. Long story short, I decided this time to plot more. I realized I need to know more about my story and characters before jumping in. Now, I use a beat sheet that can be found HERE (thanks to my mentor author/agent Marisa Cleveland).

AND now I'm using this, thanks to my agent: GMC. 
Goal. 
Motivation. 
Conflict.

I need to know these things for every character. If I do, the plot will be that much tighter. So even if you aren't a plotter, you can figure out the GMC for each character before writing or even after the first few chapters. I'll tell ya, it's much easier to know the GMC for each character before or early in the manuscript than after you write it. Believe me. I know. That's what I'm doing now on the manuscript I didn't plot. 

Hope this helps you as much as it's helped me! 

*NOTE: I planned/posted this before reading Kris's post on Wed 3/6 about using Motivation to Plot. So this 
piggybacks her post. Scroll down a few posts to find more on this topic! 




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