<$Susan Goodwill$>

Sunday, November 19, 2006

NaNo #17 Action!

Robert McKee in his insigtful and somewhat egotistical book, Story, tells us that one of the most common errors writers make is to allow their protagonists to be too passive. He says our protagonist must convince the reader that she has the "will and capacity" to reach her goals at the story's end.
I find that often in my first draft, things are happening to my protagonist and she is reacting or witnessing events, not precipitating them. And this continues well after that first inciting incident that gets the old story ball rolling.
When I go back (and back and back) and make her more proactive, my stories start to pop with energy.

By the way, the book pictured above is great fun and one of my favorite "writing books."
Tips inside include how to turn yourself into a 'hotttie' in five minutes or less and how to strangle an enemy agent with your bare thighs...No wimps in that crowd.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On "The World's Best Commercials" or something like that the other night, some sweet young thing cracked open a walnut by squeezing it between her cheeks...yes, those cheeks. Now that's a serious butt-kicking woman heroine. Just love those pre-opened walnuts.

Oh yeah, I have no idea what the advertisement was for.


Sunday, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick, you've been watching jibjab, or ought to. I know those cheeks. I've seen other things on that site. But does interesting talents actually say butt... well... at least "kicking" heroine? Perhaps this tells us that the heroine in this comercial wasn't passive.

WE ought not be passive, as writers, I think. I may not be cracking walnuts, but I'm also not crying in my cups. (I got rejected today).

Susan has it right in her process: sometimes characters have to observe for a bit, see the landscape, be it weird mysteries, mythology, or a field of walnuts. Then dive.

We don't get slammed by the story (or commentary). There are times as writers we need to sit back and observe for a bit, then dive down and get one's hands dirty and crack walnuts. As you've said, Writers write. It's not a passive thing we do, is it?

Can one passively crack walnuts?

Sunday, November 19, 2006  

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