Wednesday Writing Workout:
---Take one of your own works-in-progress and document your main character's:
- External Quest: what he wants to accomplish (the plot objective) and
- Internal Quest: what he needs emotionally (this drives the character's emotional growth/change)
Okay, now for Step 2:
---Look at the first ten pages of your work-in-progress (or the entire manuscript if you're working on a picture book). Divide the pages into scenes. For each scene, ask yourself:
Does my main character make progress toward and/or face impediments to one or both of the quests?
Repeat this step for the next ten pages and continue working your way through until you've analyzed the entire manuscript.
Optional Step 3:
---Remember the one-sentence synopsis Jill blogged about 2 weeks ago? Well, one way to come up with yours is to look at your main character's internal and external quests. Here, for example, is the summary of A Single Shard that appears on the book's copyright page:
"Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself."This synopsis explicitly states Tree-ear's external quest while hinting at his internal quest by mentioning he's a homeless orphan. See if you can do the same for your WIP: craft a one-sentence summary that incorporates your character's external quest and, if possible, hints at his internal quest.
By the way, a book's one-sentence synopsis is very much like a "logline" used to describe a movie. For some helpful tips on writing loglines (including examples from well-known films), see How to Write a Logline at Cracking Yarns, and the follow-up post, How to Write Better Loglines.
In case you're wondering, I found the following logline at Write2Reel for the movie Keely Hutton discussed with her students:
A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.This incorporates the very external quest Kelly's students identified!
Don't forget--today is the last day to enter our Book Giveaway! You could win an autographed copy of Michelle Markel’s and Melissa Sweet’s Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 (Balzer and Bray).