Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on her author website.
If you're in the middle of writing a book, hopefully you know your characters very well. You should know their likes, dislikes, hobbies, hopes, fears, goals, etc.
You can use the information you've created to help you plot by creating a list of scenes or moments from scenes that will fit who your characters are, what's happening in the story, and your story's theme. Here's how:
1) Brainstorm a list of feelings. For example: love, hate, disgust, joy, fear, curiosity, anger, excitement, boredom, nervousness, etc.
2) Brainstorm a list of circumstances that would bring out one of the above feelings in a very strong way from one of your characters. Not just "he hates broccoli and there's some on his plate for dinner." You want something that will cause your character to act. Remember, what might bring about a strong reaction from you, might not do the same for your character. Work hard to make the circumstance relatable to him.
To give you an example, I'll use Prince Trevyn, who I've talked about before. He's one of my characters from my work in progress (WIP) King's Folly. Trevyn would react strongly to:
-being told what to do, especially by his mother or father (anger)
-seeing an innocent person killed (anger)
-discovering someone has manipulated him (hatred)
-being confined to his room (boredom)
3) Write down your story's theme or variations of it. The theme for King's Folly is: Freedom. Also, I created this phrase as a Moral Premise theme: Carelessness leads to chaos and death, but wisdom leads to order and life.
4) Create a list of scenes that are in line with your story's theme(s), and give the corresponding reaction.
-Trevyn's mother tries to force him to marry. (anger)
-Trevn learns that someone is trying to kill him. (fear)
-Trevn's mentor dies. (sorrow)
-Trevn finds a rune that matches one drawn by a murdered woman. (curiosity)
5) Decide how your character would react to each situation.
-When Trevn's mother tries to force him to marry, he would do anything to get out of it, including running away. This would be a somewhat careless choice (in regard to his mother) and would only make more trouble for him when she gets home.
-When Trevn learns someone is trying to kill him, he would publicly align himself with someone stronger. This would be a wise choice that could save his life, as it would make the bad guys hesitant to come after him.
-When Trevn's mentor dies, he would become determined to find out the cause of death and he would also think carefully about the man's last words. This would cause Trevn to seriously consider things he never had before. This would be a wise choice that would eventually set Trevn's life and his country on a better path.
-When Trevn sees that his cousin carries a stone etched with the same mysterious rune drawn by a murdered woman, he would investigate at once. This would be both careless and wise because while Trevn would be wise to seek the truth, he would carelessly risk his backman's life by sending him to investigare alone.
Now it's your turn. Share in the comments:
-A circumstance and the strong reaction it would bring out in your character,
-The theme of your story,
-A possible scene that would fit the theme of your story. Give the corresponding feeling that would result from the scene.
-How your character would respond to the situation.