“When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
Tell me what your character wants in your first chapter.
What is their basic want, the one that propels their actions for the first fifty pages of your work?
My main character, Mary, wants a little bit of peace. That’s all she’s asking for. Can it really be that hard, finding peace?
The important thing about this is that I don’t allow peace of any sort to come anywhere near Mary. In fact, I throw more demands on her so she’s not likely to find peace for the entire book.
What is your main character looking for? What about your secondary characters? Your romantic hero, if you have one?
I know there are a number of you reading this blog but for some reason are reluctant to comment…so I’d love to meet you for the first time through this exercise!