|GOALS SHOULD BE VISIBLE,|
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY
HAVE TO BE SPELLED OUT
The 5 goals and MC.
The MC and the 5 goals.
I had a lot of trouble with the title for this blogpost. I kept feeling like I was naming a band ;)
Last week, on the Creative Writing course, we were discussing why we read. This was not the philosophical and psychological study of why people read at all. We didn't focus on the human need to experience events and dilemmas, or to be effected by a range of emotions beyond those encountered in our everyday lives. We discussed what it was about a story that made us want to read on.
The fact that I make all judgements about books by reading page 49 got me into trouble. Taking a peak into the plot was seen as being unfair: to look at one moment in the journey was to miss the significance of it for the MC.
I argued that the character's motivations and goals would be suggested or revealed, and that ambiguity is important to me.
Our lecturer, with his background in scriptwriting and journalism, wasn’t impressed.
He suggested that the opening scene:
- should contain the essence of the whole
- that it is at its strongest when it shows the character’s goal
THERE ARE 5 GOALS AN MC COULD TRY TO ACHIEVE:
- To win
- To stop
- To escape
- To bring
- To find
The goal for the MC could be made apparent even when it isn't described in detail. The events described in the opening could be at a point long before the MC becomes aware of their goal.
Following the advice I added a few sentences to the opening of my wip.
MORTIMER CHILTON AND THE COLLECTIVE
The opening moved from this:
Challenge had always been the game. The new version was projected between five screens. The real action took place in the centre. The other images gave the player access to the other four points of view. They said, if you looked closely enough, you could see what was going to happen before they moved in real time. I’d never seen that.
They were too wrapped up in the action to notice I was there. I shifted with the crowd and made sure no one blocked my view.
Challenge had always been the game. This was the new version. Five screens. The smaller images showed the other points of view. The fight zone, the real action, was projected into the place at the centre. They said, if you looked closely enough, you could see what was going to happen before they moved in real time. I’d never seen that.
WHAT IS YOUR MC'S GOAL?