How to Plan your protagonists journey

Throughout everyone’s journey, there are hopes, aspirations, and dreams; and in order for any of those things to come to fruition, certain steps need to be taken to get to the chosen goal. The superficial goal.

Now here’s the tricky part, the unseen truth behind those desires: What we want, isn’t what we need. That’s because subconsciously, the things we’re hoping to manifest are in fact a band-aid of wishful thinking. The inherent lie we tell ourselves is that when we achieve X, Y or Z somehow we’ll feel better, be whole and be blissfully happy.

But in reality, a better-paid job, a bigger house or faster car will never fill the void we’re trying to escape. This applies to our characters too. Therefore its simply the superficial goal – to figure out what our character needs, we’ll need to delve further and enter the first stage of our character’s arc.

As we begin to align the needs of the character, we come up against conflict and what stands in their path. How will they overcome this, what do they need to learn and how will they adapt? What is their motivation to do this? This, in part, will have a direct correlation to their personality traits, but also the external or internal factors; which is where the plot and the character meets.

Last week I explored the concept of how to hook readers from the first line through curiosity and conflict. Here we play with a similar concept of how to hook readers through character, conflict, and stakes.

What drives your character to succeed, what’s on the line if they fail and more importantly why should the reader care?

Creating a believable character that the reader can cheer for is the first step, the rest lies in the plot. The intriguing storyline that toys with something similar to this: Conflict, stakes and a failed attempt to solve the outcome, followed by a realization that what they’ve been doing isn’t working, the opportunity to try again and learn from their failures and ultimately their final decision: – Do they Awaken and grow, or remain the same and how does this decision affect the outcome of the story.

For a more in-depth look at these concepts, I recommend visiting the fantastic blog by K.M.Weiland

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

What do you think about this weeks post? Share your thoughts and tips, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and, 2019.

34 thoughts on “How to Plan your protagonists journey

  1. Nice post. It reminded me of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and also of a article I read once in Writer’s Digest or another magazine like it where it talked about key points in a story.

    Here’s what I remember: it stated that in the first quarter of a book main characters are introduced, at the quarter mark something happens to make the protagonist start reacting, then at the midpoint they’ve moved from reacting to acting; the three quarter mark is where the villain wins, from which the protagonist rises up again, leading to the climax.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great post, I’m a planner more than a pantser, but sometimes I get caught up in the reading about what I should do instead of writing. I will reference this info many times I’m sure! Would you mind if I cross-posted this to my tumblr blog as well? Looking forward to the next post!

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Before I start writing them I have to care about them. If that feeling isn’t there that’s a red flag. The same applies for the reader. We must create someone who they can relate to and care about.

    Finding a character we care about is the biggest hurdle. I’ve met writers who follow a formula but ignore their emotions. I admire them if they succeed but so far I have not met any.

    Excellent post. Thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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