After a bit of preliminary work last night on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, I have a basic outline of the plot and a few general ideas for subplots. I also started naming characters since I have a bad habit of not having enough characters. I figure that if I start figuring out characters now, I won’t be creating characters at the very end of the novel and need to decide where the heck to put them in revision.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve posted this exercise before, but I think it’s important to do for every novel I write. So here’s to my first day of planning and plotting.
Day 1: Opening Extra Character Dimensions
Step 1: What is your protagonist’s defining quality; that is, how would anyone describe your protagonist? What trait is most prominent in his personality? What kind of person is she?
Ophelia “Lia” Lawrence is opinionated. She tends to ignore the more opinions of people, even those more experienced, in favor of her own ideas and plans. This is more out of inexperience than anything else.
Step 2: Objectively speaking, what is the opposite of that quality?
The opposite of being opinionated is relying on someone else to make decisions for her.
Step 3: Write a paragraph in which your protagonist actively demonstrates the opposite quality that you wrote down in step two.
I tucked my hands behind my head and stared up at the brown splotch on the ceiling tile that I felt sure was a water leak. The comforter bunched under my lower back, and dirt flaked onto the covers from the bottoms of my work boots. The gnawing discomfort in my stomach that used to make my hands shake now only surfaces as a brief hiccup. Maybe I’m getting used to the parasite having some control over me. That’s not a good sign.