The plot of a story is the various events that occur over the course of the story. A character’s journey is how those events affect a character. A plot is a combination of 1 or more character journeys, often using a character hierarchy, focusing on specific characters. Many stories contain pieces of a character’s journey, with other portions happening before, after, or “off camera”.
9. Character’s Past
In many ways people are a product of their past. People create stories from their past, interpreting what happened to fit how they see themselves. People often try to recreate happy memories, and avoid anything reminiscent of unpleasant ones. Past experiences are another way to gradually reveal character. Here are a few methods for revealing a character’s past.
Needull in a haystack has a strong nose for interesting articles, but I think this one is particularly useful to writers as another example of different perspectives. Fanfiction offers another window into the stories that capture people’s interest.
Two “Star Trek” plot devices proved a gift for writers struggling to bring their avowedly heterosexual heroes to a mutual understanding. As a half-Vulcan, Spock is able to establish a telepathic link with others simply by touching them (the “mind meld”). In one slash fic after another, some emergency makes it essential that he mind-melds […]
A short piece written as a writing exercise.
Tick, tock, the pendulum swung. All around them gears turned, and he stood still. Was he listening? Consulting some inner voice? Leather creaked as he stepped forward, shaking within his straps. Light played over his bruised flesh, highlighting the speckled web of blood underneath. What world could accept such a sight?
In his bandaged hand he held a faded page…a letter?
“My dearest William,” it read, “My latest efforts have failed. I shall not try again. This is my fate, the price of my hubris. Look upon me, and never forget what I have done.”
By the time I looked up he had already retreated into the shadows. “Mathias?”
“Good-bye-my-friend.” Soon he faded from sight; the creak of leather lost in the sound of gears.
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