M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

plot twist are great, but without character goals, the story wmight end up being pretty... boring

I like that line.

It’s from the MasterClass publicity running these days before almost every single writing craft video.
The one with author Neil Gaiman, who’s writing I do admire very much indeed.

« Every now and then, the mists will clear. »

And somehow, after a short two days of compulsive reading and outlining, I did find a clearing.

A small, pretty clearing, with enough light to get on with the re-write of a tweens contemporary novel about… well, the aftermath of bullying, about forgiveness, friendship… and the stress of being almost 15 and had never been kissed. Of course!

It’s an incredible thing to admit, since :

  • I actually read so many writing advice and listen to even more writing advice
  • I studied Creative Writing for YEARS
  • I freelance write for a living.

But, yeah, my main character in that had no… goals…?!??

Not good, strong goals anyway. Which made the whole first draft look like a messy cheap romance novel for fictional kids.

Goals and twist

The new goals for the main character, the best friend and the love interest are the same in essence, but much more complex and are developing within a completely new, more compelling, more action-driven and waaay more prone to create conflict setting.

First, they were all part of a school club, trying to not get canceled (by the way, if it feels like you read that story a dozen times, it’s because you have!).

Now, they are in high stakes, high-level competition, trying to win a spot for the worldwide competition.
The preparation is super demanding, regulated by strict rules.
I did hesitate a bit before choosing that new setting, but it was the best way to keep the plot twist and the main themed of the book. They are strong, fun and, if not an absolute surprise, brings enough pain to the main character to provoke reflection and, by the end of the book, change.

I better stop here, because I feel like sharing the whole outline with you all, dear fellow writers, and take about the characters some more.
Also, I don’t exactly know where to put the kissing scene, because there’s one. I looove when the kiss happens at the end of the story, but… does that kind of ending speaks to a young audience still?
I will have to do some research about that.

Anyway, anyway, shush with the childish excitement and back to writing.

Thanks for reading!

What do you think? Let me know down below!

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