I am blessed to work with many talented authors with great ideas. Recently one of my clients, Renee Andrews, submitted a wonderful chart outlining her characters’ conflicts. You may have seen similar charts before, but I especially like the way Renee laid hers out:
|Goal — What?
|Motivation — Why?
|Conflict — Why not?
Renee is a very successful author at the point in her career where she discusses projects with editors before writing, so I’m not suggesting that new authors should include this chart in formal proposals. What I am suggesting is that this is a good exercise for authors to undertake while plotting out novels.This was repeated for each character. By filling out six boxes for each character, Renee had laid out key elements that will keep readers pursuing her story. I’m sure the exercise had the added benefit of helping Renee get to know her characters better before writing her books.
Of course, this is only the beginning. As authors know, writing any novel takes hard work, perseverance, and talent. But isn’t this a great layout to begin?
Do you have other suggestions on how to lay out your character’s goals, motivation, and conflict?
What resources do you recommend with helping authors with this part of the process?
What is the best conflict you remember seeing in a novel?