protagonist gets
Adventures in NaNoWriMo

The Protagonist Gets Proactive NaNoWriMo day 15

Time for your character to take matters into her own hands

driving the plot forward with the character lie-www.themanuscriptshredder.comDay 15: It’s time for your character to go on the offensive. Here, your main character will begin to make her plans for defeating the villain/antagonistic forces. Whether these battle plans are literal or figurative, they should reflect the changes made in her character arc.

Click here to learn more about character lies

In this scene, the character has made a partial transformation, but her arc isn’t complete. Either she has evolved her beliefs into a new lie, or she is willing to set aside her lie temporarily. (This scene will also include any character interactions that must happen before the fight begins. If you have a romance this is a good place for the couple to have a romantic moment.)

Option one: Ignoring the lieThe protagonist gets proactive

For this option, the character’s lie has been eroded enough for her to put it aside for the sake of the larger goal.

In the Lego Batman movie, Batman is willing to tolerate his new teammates if it will help him defeat the Joker.

Since the new beliefs appear to be incorporated, success seems certain. By the end of the scene, all the pieces seem to be in place. (Frequent readers of this blog will remember this as the moment my husband told our fidgety daughter that the movie was almost over and I had to correct him. lol)

Option two: A New Lie

In this option, the main character has developed a new belief, but it is not the right belief. The protagonist has changed, but the transformation is incomplete or the new belief is also untrue.

In the Lego movie Emmet still does not believe he is “The Special,” but he has gained enough confidence to lead. In this scene, Emmet rallies the troops by giving a speech celebrating his unique ability to be unspecial, and his plan of attack is based on that same belief.

Your character has committed to the task, now she needs to make her plan

Whatever plan your character hatches to defeat her villain, make sure you keep her character arc deeply involved. Whether she has formed a new lie or made the promise to set her old lie aside temporarily, her plan must reflect that decision. Plots might be actions, but stories are about characters. Keep yours in the driver’s seat.

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M.L. Keller is a freelance writer and editor. Her blog "The Manuscript Shredder" is focused on helping emerging writers hone their craft.

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