I’ve always been a plotter. I knew the end to any story before I even began to write it, but some days it gets a bit harder. Knowing the end doesn’t mean I know how to get there. More often than not, there one key piece I don’t know. Maybe it’s a motive. Not necessarily the villain’s. Those are generally easy to plan. (And, honestly, that’s almost always my inspiration point).
Usually, my sticking points come in secondary characters. I’m of the belief that all secondary characters should act as if they think they are the main character of the story. It’s not just to make things more difficult for the main character (MC). If the other characters function toward their own goals, the world appears more realistic, and the story as a whole makes more sense. Realism – especially in fantasy – offers a grounding point which I enjoy both as an author and as a reader.
In any book, there’s always a risk of a character (especially the MC) falling into the Insanity/ Just-Plain-Stubborn Conundrum. What’s the I-JPS (for short) Conundrum?
Glad you asked, it’s based off of this:
In books, whenever characters try to just smash, unchanging through their problems and fail, I think about that, and I wonder, “Is the character just low-key insane? Or just plain stubborn?” Sometimes, I substitute ‘stupid,’ but you get the point.
A lack of character growth can be bad writing. However, it can also be a statement on the character in a rather negative light, and there’s always the chance the author intended it. If it augments my reading experience, I’m all for believing the author intended the character to be insane or be 7 Deadly Sins level of stubborn. We all have flaws after all. When it comes to my character, I’d prefer avoiding giving anyone the wiggle room to doubt my intent. Especially if I want them to be seen as insane.
In the Warlock of Rochester series’ 4th book, Jon has reached a tipping point. The previous books all show why Jordan isn’t exactly the best teacher, but eventually, it’s up to Jon as to whether or not he’ll pick the talented (albeit difficult to follow and generally self-serving) Dumbledore versus the more readily accessible and considerate McGonagall. Unfortunately, Jon doesn’t have a McGonagall. He’s got the DADA teachers: Moody, Lockhart, Umbridge…
There’s a Lupin somewhere. I just have to decide if he’ll realize that in this book or if he’ll pull a Harry and stick to Dumbledore.
Well, wish me luck.