The Plot Whisperer: Prompt 8

Affirmation Prompt:

A force deep within me pulls me forward and keeps me clear and focused on the writing task at hand. I write to better my word count every day.

Today I write.

Plot Prompt:

A core plot of your story revolves around your protagonist’s inner development. To satisfy this inner plot, the protagonist must undergo a deep and fulfilling transformation. You accomplish this by exposing to the reader the character’s inevitable flaws. In the latter part of the story, she will have to face her largest flaw and overcome it in order to achieve her ultimate goal.

Scan earlier scenes for examples of the protagonist’s chief character flaw. If she acts in one scene like a victim, unable to take responsibility for her actions, develop that aspect of her. If she appears controlling in one scene or you find her argumentative in another, or she lies in one scene and cheats in another, use her stubbornness and need to always be right to your advantage. Pin her with that flaw.

Perfectionist, procrastinator, judgmental, quick-tempered, angry: every one of these flaws allows for a different character emotional development and transformation, and yet every one is universal within the human race.

Writing Prompt:

Demonstrate the character’s flaw as she takes another step toward her goal. Show how she interferes and sabotages her own progress to the reader. However, keep this self-reflective insight a secret from the protagonist until after the crisis, about three quarters of the way through the story.

Show how the protagonist’s flaw manifests itself in her typical actions in contrast to how you imagine she may behave later in the story.

Try using all dialogue first and fill in the action later.

“You really see yourself as a hero?” said Parkinson. “What have you done?”

Daryl stood up straight. “I’ve defeated a super villain. She was trying to capture me. She had all these cool gadgets…”

“Yeah, but what did you stop her from doing? Was her only goal to capture you?”

“Yeah, but, you know, it was an epic battle! I had to pull out all the stops to get rid of her.”

Parkinson rolled his eyes. “So you didn’t save anybody. You didn’t stop a criminal. you just had a fight. Was there property damage?”

“Yeah,” said Daryl, “But I stopped her before it got bad.”

“So all you did was make a mess? You didn’t actually help anyone.”

“Ted,” said Lucas, “Stop.”

“Lucas here actually stopped a rape. Twice. In high school he fought guys 3 times his size, who were causing trouble like that. I guess I’m wondering if you’re a hero, what does that make him?”

Daryl was quiet. Parkinson smirked. “You’re not a hero. You’re just a monster terrorizing a city.”

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