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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 14: Mapping Out Writing Time: The I Want It Now Blues

Remember Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? This spoiled young girl wanted everything--a golden ticket, an Oompa Loompa, a golden geese, the golden egg--ALL Right NOW!

Not everyone knows what they want. Sometimes it's wrapped up in immediate gratification or based on current trends. Or maybe it's reflected in the mood of the day. There's a certain level of respect, albeit a very thin one, we should offer Veruca, as she absolutely without a doubt knew what she wanted, how to articulate it, and by the way, if you didn't understand, it was all to be delivered right now. Yes, she was extreme and yes, she did fall on unfortunate circumstances, but she had her moments to shine and exploited used them to her advantage.

It's hard to wait for the things we most want. It's even harder when you're young, when patience is a foreign word, and you believe you deserve the world. Think about this as you discover what your MC wants most and how to get this to happen in your story. Hey, even better, use the following Magic Questions. Proceed with caution...if used properly, you'll find your story transformed. If not, you'll have one cluster@#$#.

REMEMBER These Magic Questions:
  • What does your character want most?
  • What is the main thing that will drive your MC to reach her goal?
  • What kinds of things will your protagonist do to get what he wants?
  • When push comes to shove, what makes your character reach into inner reserves to get what she wants?
  • How does this influence others around him?

Write-a-Scene Writing Prompt: Write a scene where your MC finds resistance when acting upon desires. I know, I know. Your manuscript needs to be built with scenes like this. So, get writing! Remember to ask yourself the questions I've noted above, before writing each scene. These questions are magic. They will drive your story forward and help create a compelling plot. Come on. Try it!

5 comments:

historymaven said...

Great post! I love how you connect the emotions in our lives to the emotions we're trying to set down on the page.

Beth Kephart said...

willy wonka scared me scared me scared me.

so would getting everything i want.

the dreaming makes the living.

sheila said...

ACK! Whenever I see that girl I remember my aunties. I don't know if you know this, but veruca is a word Brits use for a wart. And all I ever think of when I see poor old Veruca is "She's a Wart Girl!"

I like how you draw these comparisons to movies. The Matrix was a great one. So is this. Very effective.

Solvang Sherrie said...

We were just talking about Veruca Salt last night!

I'm loving these Mapping posts :)

Sierra said...

Great post. Veruca is a fantastic example of visualizing a character wanting something. I find it's one of the hardest things for people to remember: characters must want something!