Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Passive MC

If you're worried your MC is too passive, try taking the MC out of the novel. Would the plot remain the same? Would everything still happen the way it's written? If so, your MC is merely reacting.

You need a MC that drives the plot. A person the whole novel would fall apart without. Then you've got the character we all want to read about.

25 comments:

  1. That's a great thing to think about. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  2. This is one of the smartest writing tips I've seen. Thanks!

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  3. I'll have to think about that.Great tip.

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  4. Yikes! That's an important thought!

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  5. That is a great tip, Sara. Definitely a quick way to evaluate a weak/passive MC! Hope things are going well! :)

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  6. Hello! Visiting from JR's blog. This is a very good way to look at things. My MC is rather passive to begin with, and easily influenced by her older brother, but halfway through she makes a daring decision and the plot leaps forward. So I think I'm okay. Excellent writing tip.

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    1. A character arc from passive to self actualizing is a good arc. As long as there's still a way for us to connect with the MC at the beginning.

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  7. One of the most useful writing tips I've encountered.

    Just popped in from JR's blog as well :)

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  8. If only I could be so crisp and succinct. :) Dropping in from QOTKU's blog.

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  9. Hi, Sara. I'm visiting from JR's blog. Nice to meet you!

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  10. I just read a post by Donald Maass on Writer Unboxed about how to go deeper into the emotional aspect of your character that was very good also.

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  11. Hi Sara, also visiting from Janet's blog and read the Writer Unboxed blog too that Julie mentions above. I have 2 protags. I do worry about one who is action driven but does it work for the story.

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  12. Popped in from JR's blog. That's some very good advice.

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  13. That's really good advice. A good way to make sure our characters have depth. Could work for the villain too -- is he/she a cardboard cut-out meanie or a real person...

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  14. Ooh, nice way of looking at it. Thanks for the tip.

    Stopping by from QOTKU blog :)

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  15. Hopping over from Janet Reid's blog,
    Wonderful advice! Immediately I thought if I did this what would happen to my m/s.

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  16. Visiting from Janet's blog! Great stuff!

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  17. Good advice, Sara. I've often thought about just killing off my MCs as a means of speeding things along to a resolution -- "and then they all died, the end" -- but that's not quite the same thing. :-)

    As you might have guessed, I followed the bouncing ball over here from JR's blog as well. Hope you're enjoying your break from blogging!

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