On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Protagonist's Core and the Author's Bargain

Protagonist's Core

The trick of the character arc is to strip away the protagonist’s identity so that he can become who he truly is: his core. His identity protects him from exposing this core. The protagonist doesn’t know what he needs to be complete.

You need to ask yourself while forming your story: what sort of life would best suit your protagonist? What choices would he need to make to get there from where he is starting? These are involved questions that take time to work through. Free-write your thoughts. Then, write down in a few words the essence or core of your character.

As a writer, you must be cruel to your protagonist. You are going to offer him the life of his dreams, but the catch is he must give up his identity in order to grab it. Think about the bargain you are going to strike with your protagonist. Give him everything he wants… but only if he gives up his old life. Summarize this bargain in a few words.

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