Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Writing Fiction - Transformation



This is an occasional blog with tips for writers of fiction:

'Transformation' in fiction is the process of change in the protagonist as they journey through one of the stages of their life.
The plot isolates a portion of the protagonist's life that represents that period of change, moving from one significant character state to another.

Some "standard" points of change: 
becoming adult; war and combat; 

search for identity; divorce and 
other family shifts; facing violence;
 deaths; and learning something new 
remember Pygmalion?).
 
But the large-scale change is only one kind.  Consider small events that may build and shake lives...

Structure:
Phase 1 - an incident that starts a change in the protagonist's life.  Be sure your protagonist is obvious before the change.
    Let the ripples of the incident stretch out...There are lessons to be learned, judgments to be made, insights to be seen.
   
Phase 2 – show the full effects of the transforming incident.
What hidden parts of the main character are stirred up in the wake of the storm?
   
Phase 3 - show (often via another incident) the results of
the transformation.  What does the protagonist learn?
In fiction it's common for a protagonist to learn lessons other than what he expected to learn.  The real lessons are often the hidden or unexpected. Expectations are baffled; illusions are destroyed.  Reality overtakes fantasy.

Use above and see how it changes your manuscript. In a few days, I'll post the Checklist that goes with this.



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