New Novel, New Method

Tomorrow is day ten of my Winter Writing Project and I’ve written naught but a clip of dialogue that has no relevance to the plot. On the bright side, I’ve also given Evalise a pet. A frabbit named Indigo. If you don’t know what a frabbit is, you should follow me on Twitter.

Tomorrow is also the first day of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival. If you already know about it, skip this paragraph.  The Festival continues to the end of February. You pick set daily goal(s) and get a point if you meet at least one of them. If you finish February with all 50 points, you win.

To join my Winter Writing Project, comment or email me to let me know. To join the Festival, register on their official website.

I’ve not been completely writing-useless, however. I’ve realized one thing my character’s lack: Roles. I’ve never given much thought to the purpose of each of my minor characters. I never put much thought into what their goals should be. (Article that helped me realize this: Character Roles – The Script Lab)

Yet if I stop now to correct this, I’ll delay my writing and won’t be ready for NaNoEdMo in March. So I’m going to assign roles to all of my characters and write a scene showing the character in said role. If a character plays multiple roles, I’ll write multiple scenes to show this.

Brilliant, no?

I thought so.

This will result in a lot of plot hopping, but I’ve my lovely blueprint to help me through this. The scenes I write will (theoretically) enforce what I already know. The plot may even change for the better once I get a handle on the individual roles of my numerous characters.

Predicted benefits of assigning character roles:

  • Identifying important minor characters
  • Strengthening those important minors
  • Eliminating the weak and useless ones
  • Adding complexity to the plot, both main and sub
  • Using changing roles to help define characters

Hoped result:

  • More compelling, character-driven first draft
Out of curiosity, who else is participating in the RSSWWF? What daily goal(s) are you aiming for? If you’re not participating, why not?

About Squishy

Writer, dancer, gamer, and admirer of all that is beautiful.

Posted on January 10, 2011, in Ishy Writes! and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good thing I am taking part in your Winter Writing Project because it is really helping to get back to writing. And your posts on Blueprints are more helpful than you can ever imagine. Seriously.
    Also, the idea to write the scenes for each character in their role is brilliant. Yep, it is.
    Oh, I am not participating in RSSWWF. Not sure why. Hmm, it starts today? Maybe (just maybe), I’ll go sign up.

  2. I’m signed up for RSSWWF. Thanks for sharing it! Never would have heard of it otherwise. The ability to make our own goals is fantastic, especially because the novel ending and I found ourselves at an impasse this weekend. If I had to write 1667 words every day, I would say no, but making working on the ending just one of my goals makes it good for me. 🙂 Oh, yeah. And working on that short story for the Winter Writing Festival too…. Guess I better get started!

    I had the same realization about my characters–especially minor characters–not too long ago. I had a bad habit of allowing weak and unnecessary ones to clutter up stories. Spending some time writing scenes with the characters performing their roles sounds like a great plan.

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