Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - More on Defining the Basic Conflict #MFRWauthor

The character's environment has a lot to do with how they react to other characters and helps the plot progress. Last week five were mentioned. Here are five more.

The character is placed in an environment he wants to escape. I can think of a number of places. Some are evident and some not. Right now I'm working with a hero who wants to escape the hospital. He was shot and he wants to make light of his reason for being there. A patient could want to escape prison. In all genres there can be a character who wants to escape a particular environment and each will go about this in their own way. Think of some disaster like a forest fire. The character might want to escape poverty or a dozen other reasons for the character to want to escape.

What about the character who finds him or herself in a place where he or she isn't wanted. This could conjure a number of kinds of stories. The girl who wants to play baseball and is good. Imagine her on a boy's team. The debutante who must help in a soup kitchen. Think about putting your character where no one wants them and how do they act or react?

How about one for which the character is unsuited? The character must come to grips with things he doesn't understand. How will he act or react to the situation and to the people who are suited to this particular environment?

A change in the character's status quo in an environment could be the basis of a good story. This is usually based on a decision by the character to act in a different manner. Refusing a promotion could be one. Not wanting to continue on the path the character has taken. Take the dancer who decides she or he can't dance any longer. Why was this decision made? How will the change sit with the other people in their environment?

A change in the status quo of the environment. An earthquake, a war, some disaster could change the environment and thus the characters who exist in that time and place.

So study the character's environment and use one or more of the environmental situations and you'll have the seeds for a good story.


Tamara Hunter said...

Great tips. I went back to last week's and read those too.

You just sparked an idea. Thank you!

Janet Lane Walters said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting. When looking at these I always find ideas and ways to strengthen my stories.