I should keep better track of the things I read. I suppose thats what Delicious and Evernote are for, but I don’t always have the time to archive serendipity. I should keep better track because when I everntually write about the things I read I’d like to link back to them for your reference. Suffice to say I did read several somethings along the lines of what I’ll write about now. I did not make this up.
That I did not ake this up should be evident in how clever it is. What I’m writing about not my writing.
A reader should be able to pick up a book, start reading at any point, and within a few paragraphs know the characters’ goals. That, for me says quite a bit. I need go no further, but will anyway.
I don’t think the authors I’ve aggregated that statement from meant that a character’s whole plot goal should be immediately apparant, though I suspect they think it should appear soon. I believe they mean a character’s scene goal; their current driving need. Worse, they expect clarity for the antagonist’s goal too; the bad guy can’t just poke your heroine in the eye he needs a reason to poke her in the eye.
These are the writing lessons I love to find. And consequently love to avoid incorporating in my writing.
Last week a wrote with this in mind, but neglected to have a goal for my antagonist. My antagonist merely through up half-hurdles for my protagonist to overcome. Looking back on the piece I didn’t like where the bad guy’s flimsey efforts were leading. Ultimately he’d have become a throwaway character and the scene would have played for no other useful reason than to introduce the protagonist by name in a clever-like way; that could have been done elsewhere and better.
OK, so. Bad guy needs a deeper life I decide. This story is not outlined at this point so I can do anything I want. Suddenly I’ve decided that our minor functionary is now the client who hired our protagonist to off the wife of his boss. Now I’ve got something I didn’t have before.