Today, I will get closer to Caro, the hero of my YA WIP.
Well, that’s the plan.
I’m still plotting into the middle. I’d say “through” the middle, but not yet feeling that optimistic. And I’m realizing that part of the problem I’m having with the current mish-mash of scenes is that I haven’t honed in enough on my hero’s active goal. I know her emotional goals, but those don’t really drive her choices and actions–not with her knowledge, anyway. When I was plotting my mystery, I could always ask, “What would my hero do to…solve the mystery?” (And then, of course, I’d ask, what someone else could do to PREVENT his solving it!). That MC had a very concrete, active goal to work toward.
I am not going to sit and stare at my computer or out the window until I come up with the equivalent, active goal for Caro. Because, yes, I could do that until the cows came home and, frankly, had a good laugh at my expense. Instead, I’m going to take it scene by scene for a while. And I’ll look at these elements:
- What did Caro do in the previous scene or few scenes?
- What were the consequences of those recent actions?
- How does she feel about what she did and about what happened?
- Who did she set up a conflict with?
- What other character has a strong goal at this time?
- What story element have I not dealt with in, perhaps, too long?
And out of that, I’m going to give myself a kinder, gentler question to answer. That question will be, “What would Caro do to…solve some problem.”
This problem may not be the one she actually needs to work on at the time. It may turn out to be a problem that, in the end, I (and Caro) decide to throw away completely. It almost certainly won’t, yet, be the problem that is her equivalent of solving a mystery. Hopefully, though, it’ll be a problem that lets Caro and I move her plot forward and grow a deeper understanding of what it is she truly wants.
What does YOUR hero want? And what step could she (possibly!) take today to achieve that goal?