Friday, July 29, 2005

Overall Desire and for Scenes

Greetings now from Kentucky. I'm at a family reunion. Because I'm on eastern time, I'm posting earlier than usual. This blog will also be shorter than usual.

RQ commented this yesterday: We've talked about the overall, book-level, desire. I think it would be beneficial to start EVERY scene by scribbling down a note that lists the character's sub-desire for that scene. The sub-desire should be two-pronged, and should be related to the overall "super" desire.

RQ is right. The chapter in Getting Into Character that talks about Desire is mostly about Action Objectives--that is, the objective the character wants to accomplish when approaching a scene. When you assure that your character has a strong action objective going into a scene, you'll be less likely to write a scene that superfluous to the story. Using the concept of action objectives really helps in building your scenes in a logical way.

The concept of Desire, however, is foundational to the concept of Action Objectives. How do you know what your character wants to accomplish scene by scene? First, you need to know what your character wants to accomplish overall.

We've spent this week on Desire, so next week we'll move on. To what, I'm not sure yet. If you have ideas, you can let me know. I've asked for ideas before, and y'all have given them to me, and then we've moved on to some of them, but I can't remember if all your ideas have been covered or not. One topic tends to beget another topic, and some ideas may have been left far behind.

As a quick personal update, after this reunion I will be working like mad in August to finish Violet Dawn, otherwise known here as the "Paige book." And just before I came to KY, I heard from Zondervan that the copyedits for Web of Lies were ready, so I asked that they mail them to my mom's house. Now they'll have to be done first, so I can concentrate without interruption on Violet Dawn. Copyedits done and Violet Dawn done, I'm going to have to work hard on the morning track I'm teaching at the ACFW conference. That class is going to take a lot of work. Two weeks after that conference is the Zondervan novelist's retreat in Grand Rapids. Two weeks after that is Glorieta Writers Conference, where I'm also teaching. And by the time that's over, it's November. Somewhere in there I'm supposed to be starting on book two of my Kanner Lake Series. So if it seems to y'all my brain is a bit of a sieve sometimes--well, now you know why.

Great weekend to ya, BGs. See you Monday.


C.J. Darlington said...

Good stuff, Brandilyn. Hope you enjoy your reunion and are able to get all your edits and writing done without stress. Thanks for sharing what you have about the creation process of Violet Dawn. It's cool to see how another author works.

mrsd said...

Thanks for all you do. :)

Lynette Sowell said...

Thanks for this series on character desire. I've been digging deeper on this one character, and he's been fighting me. Well, more passive-resistive, which really isn't him, but he was stonewalling. So I started pushing harder for answers, at least enough for me to get through his story line for this proposal! Whew. So this has been very timely for me.

Grady Houger said...

At last I got a hold of a BC book; BoD! Now to choose between sleep and reading.

This week about character desire has been a huge help; Thanks again Brandilyn! Now I know why none of my stories have endings. This has gave me a lot of work to do making desire and plot fit together, but I am happy to have a specific angle to work on.