Your best next step:
Get to know your protagonist!
Way to go! You’ve got a sense of the events of your story (maybe even more than that!) and you are ready to get to it.
But before you jump feet first into the writing – or even any more planning – I have some questions for you.
These questions are intended to help you hone in on the emotional growth of your progatonist (main character). While you might know what their external circumstances and decisions are going to be, it’s also key that you know how they are going to change internally from the beginning to the end of the story.
But wait, Stephanie. Why does any of that fluffy, psychological stuff matter?
Great question! Here’s why:
Knowing what your protagonist wants, needs and believes in the beginning of the story will explain, both to you and your reader, why they are making the decisions, having the reactions, and choosing the actions that they do over the course of the story.
Knowing what new understanding, belief, or realization you want your protagonist to have by the end of the story will give you a target to aim toward with each scene that you write.
The emotional arc of your protagonist is what makes readers care about what happens to them.
The best plot events can’t make that happen.
My suggestion is to freewrite, by hand, your answers to each question. Squeeze your brain and put every possible answer on the page. Then refine each response down to the most true sentence or two.
Dig in. Explore. And most importantly, enjoy the process of getting to know this person!
I’ll send you some tools over the next few days that will help you continue this process and figure out what comes next.
P.S. If you’d like to talk more about how to develop a strong, well-rounded protagonist with an internal change in store for them and how coaching might support your writing process, please schedule a free introductory call with me!