Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT FOR WRITING A SUCCESSFUL SERIES

by Linda Robertson

THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT FOR WRITING A SUCCESSFUL SERIES is, in my humble opinion, <insert drumroll here>
photo credit:  www.tampabay.com HERE
...a character who grabs our interest with both hands.

You know, someone whose emotions cause us to keep turning pages.

"Emotions?" you ask.

Yes. Emotions.

In an article that I highly recommend (and which of course supports my statement), Martha Alderson, aka the Plot Whisperer, says:
"Moviegoers and readers identify with stories through the characters. The most powerful way to reach an audience is through the characters' emotions. For only when we connect with the characters on an emotional level, does the interaction become deep and meaningful. Well-written scenes that include characters' emotions allow the audience to viscerally take part in the story and bond with the characters." LINK HERE Go read it. I'll wait....

The character feels something about their situation that defines that character; even their apathy tells us something. Their actions convey to us the core of their emotions. Their reactions to other characters, to a new situation, to someone else's display of emotions --or lack thereof-- and the words they speak divulge to us as a whole something more than the sum of the actual words on the page.

Why? Because we feel and react, too. Our experience, and the experiences shared with us by our families and friends and loved ones are all a part of our lives and influence us as we grow and mature across the arc of our lives.

And using that as a convenient segue...

Your series character must be able to A.) maintain an interesting arc or B.) have an endless stream of storylines and options in his/her/its life. Or both.
Photo credit :  HERE

In The 3 Types of Character Arc – Change, Growth and Fall HERE Veronica Sicoe talks about character arcs that stray from the standard Heroes Journey, arcs called: the Change Arc, the Growth Arc, the Shift Arc and the Fall Arc.

Each of the installments in a series in part forms the large "whole" of the character's arc, like the stones in the picture.

In what ways are you preparing your character for the arc? Or are you letting their story prepare you? What forces are at work beyond the control of the character, forces that will inevitably force difficulties upon her, ones that she, where you have placed her in the opening of your tale, cannot anticipate, ones leading her to places she cannot imagine going?

Tell me those questions waft like a seductive scent under the nose of your curious and inspiration-seeking writer brain...

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