Managing Plot is like Managing Life

A strong protagonist and a compelling storyline that connect all of the different narrative threads should weave itself into a rich character arc,as  the main character changes somehow over the course of our story. No  pre-determined map at their disposal to follow .  By driving the story through character, as opposed to building it through plot, the story’s plot will unfold naturally, writing itself.  Having no idea where the story is going, the character decides the route she should take as the story falls into place- the same way we live our lives everyday, rising in the morning, expecting certain things to take place over the course of our day, then adjusting as we are confronted with life’s many unexpected obstacles ,  and ultimately we often make the choice to  switch directions or goals so we can do more than merely survive.

We manage our lives through overcoming obstacles, by learning how we must change,  or how we must treat each situation we encounter or person we come up against, usually at random or by surprise.  Ultimately we do change in some way… because we naturally desire a successful ending  of some kind.  It is much the same with our stories.  We give birth and DNA to our characters, raising them so that they learn to make the right choices, learning from their mistakes along the way.  And in the end, just like the parents we are or the parents we have or had,  the binding strings are cut so that our cherished offspring or characters are allowed the chance to  soar off on their own, managing their own life, and finding their own destiny.

Holding on too tightly to plot restricts the ability of the characters to flourish on their own, to build off their own strengths and to   ultimately allow them to go even beyond what we, their maker, ever could have imagined.  Like managing life where the power is inside of each one of us characters to build our own magical life plots, managing plot in our stories is to give that magical power to our characters and to step out of the way to see where they will take us.  They just may surprise us in the end.

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