1. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    main character lacks passion

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by juniorfletcher, Dec 6, 2011.

    hi to all,
    first time writing a novel and i have a problem with my main character. She lacks passion and fire. Plot is that her young daughter has been kidnapped. she can't get media coverage. just looking for some helpful guidelines/sites if you would?

    i have a few questions:

    1: know any site for basic amber alert 101?

    2: how do police handle kidnapping reports? (protocol?)

    3: how do i light a fire underneath my main character?

    many thanks in advance
     
  2. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    This should cover number One and Two http://www.amberalert.gov/guidelines.htm

    Number three, Get some Matches and Gasoline. A death threat works as well.
     
  3. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    @Dresden260....thanks for the help, much appreciated
     
  4. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    It's her child.. that in and of itself should light a fire under her. Do you have children? Or even people you love with all your heart? Think about what lengths you would go to in order to save them if something like that happened. No one would just sit back unless they didn't care.
     
  5. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I like what TerraIncognita said.

    What does your MC want most? Make it so she can't have that (at least for most of the story) and you have a real story. If the story gets slow add tension by promising something to your readers that will go wrong. Meaning it looks like it's going to work out well but it doesn't. She wants her daughter back and but can't have it, then escalate it even more by making it even more difficult for her to get her daughter back.
     
  6. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    no i don't have children....i know she'd go to any length to save her child but my writing isn't reflecting that.....it comes across kinda flat
     
  7. juniorfletcher
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    i've gone back and tried to see where i can stretch the tension.....that's what's missing....i think there may be too much talking and too little action on her part.....maybe she's too passive......thx for your help
     
  8. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    TerraIncognita...oops forgot to say thank you.....really appreciate the help
     
  9. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    lol that's okay Junior :)

    Well, think of the people you do love. What would you do if someone took one of them from you? If it were me I'd be frantic and enraged. I'm not an angry or overly confrontational person by nature but there are a few things that set me off and hurting someone I love is one of them. I'd be knocking on every door I could, so to speak, and practically harassing the police to do something if they weren't. If that all failed I'd take matters into my own hands and start my own investigation.
     
  10. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Writer's Digest had a wonderful article in the January 2012 issue (yes it's already out). It's called 6 Secrets to Creating and Sustaining Suspense by Steven James. I loved it and have it all marked up because it had so much great information and tips. Maybe you could try reading that or a few articles about creating suspense. When I'm having trouble in an area and I'm on top of it enough to recognize what the trouble is, I will read books and articles about it. It inspires me and I always come up with a better scene.
     
  11. juniorfletcher
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    @TerraOncognita.....see? there's my problem....she was laid back and couldn't lose her cool :). book i ordered came in the mail today. 'The marshall plan for novel writing' somebody up there likes me.
     
  12. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    as mention a min ago.....i got "the marshall plan for novel writing' in the mail today......talk about timing. the tip on reading the articles really helps......i hadn't thought of that....many thx
     
  13. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    She needs to lose her control. I think anyone would in that situation. :p
     
  14. juniorfletcher
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    learned about something today....using section sheets and dividing them into 'action' or 'reaction' sheets based on what would be happening in the story. i'd never heard of them. I've set up a board with large post-it notes attached. Now i can kinda outline the progression of the story. sort of a timeline. Before that i was haphazardly typing away and came to a screeching halt. I think things are starting to click.
     
  15. juniorfletcher
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    juniorfletcher Member

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    watched Pulp Fiction tonight.....i need a lot of work on dialog.
     
  16. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    One thing is that dialogue styles change when a person is under strong emotion. I've found it very difficult to portray arguments because everyone keeps reasonably talking things out and coming to an agreement, until I realized that in arguments, people tend to reply to their own strawmen instead of the actual argument, interrupt each other, and repeat themselves.

    If someone is scared, very often they'll process things more slowly, keep running through the same thoughts over and over, overreact to other stressors, forget to take care of mundane things, etc.

    My advice is see if you can find a news clip of a mother of a kidnapped kid pleading for help finding her kid. Watch how she acts, what emotions she's feeling, and try to portray that.
     
  17. juniorfletcher
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    @ettina....news clips are a great idea, thx....went back to my MC's moment of crises and will rewrite that section.....it just lacked emotion and tension.
     
  18. Purplesuits
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    Purplesuits New Member

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    You know what you could do.. you could 'kill' the daughter. If the main character finds out that her daughter is dead, the somewhat flat or lifeless way your main characters been taking it so far could be destroyed. Bring the daughter 'back to life' not to long later and the main character will hopefully take it a little more seriously. If your main character is kind of laid back, you need to break her down. Do what the military does, destroy her character to build her back up again as someone changed by this experience. Or watch those old school movies with Harrison Ford that require him to lose his family and go nuts. Or Liam Neeson. Obviously the way you say you write is a little more introspective than that.
     
  19. juniorfletcher
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    @purplesuits......setting my fragile male ego aside, i had killed the daughter and was shedding tears over it.....i felt terrible.....i still haven't brought her back. Trying to think about how to handle the situation.....where, when and if she's ever found. Thanks for the idea of watching movies.....i will tivo a few things this week. also, got the 'Marshall Plan'. that's been helping me along.
     
  20. juniorfletcher
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    the outline's coming along....ordered 2 books dealing with police investigating techniques and forensics.....helpful.....plodding along
     

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