Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - Looking at Circles

While reading something in John Gardner's On Becoming A Novelist, something sent me off on a tangent. As I was falling asleep words about circles and how the character is the center of the circle with spokes from the character to the rim that for me is the plot. This rim keeps the story contained. But there are not just a single character in most stories, there are usually others. So what happens when the circles overlap. Not sure where this is going but those thoughts as one falls asleep often become something to ponder on.

Now there are stories that have only one character and in these stories, perhaps the theme becomes another circle. One such as survival. For me themes are large ones. Love, Money, Power, Survival. I'm sure there are other large ones. Now to look at the characters in a story and see where the circles could meet.

Hero, heroine, villain. These three figures are often found in many stories. The first two are evident but does the villain have to be the bad guy or gal. Not necessarily so. The villain could be a parent who doesn't want the hero or heroine to take a certain path in life. This isn't a necessarily evil person but their circle intersects with that of the other characters in the story. A good friend could take the part of the villain. But yes there is a lot of room in a story for the really bad guy. Finding one of these evil ones gives the hero or heroine someone to fight against.

Back to circles with the character in the center. Places where the intersect might occur are in the setting. I've used this when writing suspense and mysteries. Also in romances. The above mentioned theme is another area. So look at your characters and see where their desires intersect. This is where they must make choices. Choices good or bad are what makes the story pop.

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