Who Can You Make Suffer the Most?

When beginning a new story, take some time to consider who would hate you the most for putting them in this particular situation. (image credit: microsoft clipart)

Yesterday, I wrote about making your character suffer.  Today, I’m going to write on a similar theme — who can you torment the most.

Sometimes when you are brainstorming story ideas, you come up with your character first.  As you develop your character, you find their story and up the tension by finding the most horrible thing you can do to them.

Other times you come up with the story idea first.   A village is invaded by barbarian raiders who kidnap only one child before retreating into the wilderness.  To make your story the best story it can be, you have to make some decisions regarding your character.  What character would suffer the most from being snatched?

If you make your character an orphan whose lot in the village has been down right awful, being snatched might just be a blessing.  But if your character has led a cushy life, is about ready to gain something for which they have been working a very long time, or has a big secret they need to keep hidden from the marauders, your story will be much more interesting.

So the next time you come up with a story premise but don’t have a character, think about who would suffer the most in this situation.  It won’t win you any “nice girl” awards, but it will win you readers.


Goals the first full week of October

My apologies for being so late in posting today.  Mondays are always bad — this is usually the day I walk the labyrinth and go to the library.  But today my son got his bottom braces.  I didn’t get started on  my work day until lunch and decided that I had better work on my middle grade novel first.  Wasn’t that an amazing show of writer’s discipline?

Last week was a great week in terms of word count — I pulled down 7587 words, easily topping my 6000 word goal for the week.  Fingers crossed that this week is just as productive.

My goals for this week include:

  1. 5 posts for One Writer’s Journey.  Done.
  2. Post a review on the Bookshelf.
  3. 1 post for PrayPower.  Done!
  4. Write my posts for the Church blog.  Done!
  5. Brainstorm some new writing ideas.
  6. Add 2000 words to my middle grade.  Done!
  7. Work on my agent research.
  8. Rewrite the article I want to submit to WD.  In progress.
  9. Finish and submit my piece for the Muffin.  In progress.
  10. Rough submissions for Blue Mountain cards.
  11. Rough a brochure for a new business endeavor (more info later).  In progress.
  12. Start roughing out my conference talk.
  13. Start critiquing mss for conference critiques.
  14. One of my editors just put out a call for additional pieces for a collection so, obviously, this item is #1 priority now.  Aren’t goals fun/fluid?  Done!
Wah!   I better get moving if those are my goals.