I can't possibly make a comprehensive list of how much I learned. The techniques in there are simple but efficient and I feel a lot less likely to err when I jump into my second draft. There's the LOCK system, the two doorways, the explanations on what beginning, middles and endings need, the common plot structures, the frequent problems and how to fix them... everything.
Out of all this, however, two elements caught my attention: the character arc and tension in your scenes.
The Character Arc
I like to think I have a strong sense of characters. I used to roleplay a lot and am used to centering stories around a smattering of characters and their evolution. A good story may take a character through a series of events until he vanquishes adversity. A great story will have this adversity change him irrevocably.
I was pleased when I noticed Bell devoted an entire chapter of Plot and Structure to this. The Character Arc can be a subplot, such as your MC learning something important just before the 'final battle', or it can be the point of the story.
Humans often resist change, however. This is good, because it creates tension. But how do you change them?
His basic idea was that every character has a core self-image, and that surrounding it are four layers of protection. These are, starting from the center: beliefs, values, attitudes and opinions.
|I drew this, by the way. Super talented, eh?|
I loved this. Starting with small changes before hitting the big ones is a great way to bring about a smooth character arc.
I'll be back with tension in the scenes on Wednesday!