Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inexorable Journey


Usually I put a quote of the week at the bottom of my blog, but this week, the quote is the blog.

This comes from material that the author, agent, and teacher Donald Maass said at a workshop over the weekend.

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Writing is about custom-building the hardest journey our protagonist can make. Too many writers write what happens next. This is a plot journey, which is a skeleton. Plots and skeletons are important, but if all you have is the skeleton, the story is going to be boney and incomplete.

The inner journey is an inexorable voyage from one strongly-held mindset to an even better and, usually, more flexible world view, equally strongly-held, but which requires more compassion, understanding, and humanity than the protagonist though him or herself capable of possessing.
~ Condensed from presentation by Donald Maass, 2013 May 4
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I believe this is true. Care to discuss it?

How do we switching from writing plot-based stories to journey-based stories?

2 comments:

Leslie Budewitz said...

Sharon, I love this. I attended Don's week-long Breakout Novel Workshop last year, and it changed my writing in ways I never imagined. Not always easy to apply some of his lessons in the confines of cozy mystery -- but I'm working on it! Thanks for sharing this.

Sharon Wildwind said...

This was my 3.5 time in one of his workshops. The 0.5 was an abbreviated presentation at a convention. I always learn SO MUCH each time.

I think what's different in traditional mysteries is how the focus is applied. In The Black Moment that he talks about, my character's black moment isn't going to have the same characteristics as say Harlan Coben or Stieg Larsson, but it will still be a moment that changes my character's life direction.