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Posts Tagged ‘Flaw’

Source: A Character-Based View of Plot – Brooklyn Arden

Cheryl Klein has done it again! This time she has formulated a view of plot completely from the perspective of the main character. Being familiar with some of her other writings, I think this is something that’s always been there waiting to be formally written down. It’s certainly intriguing and adds yet another perspective on plot.

What follows is a summary of her post including the main parts. I recommend reading the original to pickup more of the discussion about the parts and more of Cheryl’s examples.

  1. The book establishes a complex character – someone with:
    • A flaw of which he or she may not be aware
    • Something to gain or lose
    • Or both.
  2. The world of the book presents that character with a situation:
    • One that will evoke the flaw – again, possibly unbeknownst to the character
    • Or in which the thing that can be gained or lost will be gained or lost
    • Or both.
  3. And then it forces that character to make a choice or take some sort of action
    • John Gardner: “Real suspense comes from moral dilemma and the courage to make and act upon choices. False suspense comes from the accidental and meaningless occurrence of one damn thing after another.”
  4. In the new situation engendered by the results of #3, the plot repeats steps 2 and 3, until
  5. The flaw in the character is faced and dealt with or
    • The thing to be lost or won is lost or won
    • Or both.
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