Saturday, March 10, 2018

Marching into battle

This month, we're looking at marching our characters into battle. Now, I could take the obvious route and discuss good old fight scenes, but I'm pretty sure one of my other YATopian buddies will have that covered. So, instead, I'm going to consider the internal battlefield your MC has to contend with throughout the entire book.

It's important to know what your MC's internal battleground is. This is where you look deep at the root of your MC's conflict. What are the polar opposite feelings they have? Your character needs to struggle, so you need to think "opposing sides." Once you know the basic two emotional "armies" so to speak, you then need to break it down further. You don't have just side A and side B. If it was an actual army, they would be broken down into units - infantry, cavalry, etc. How does this relate to your MC's inner conflict? These are the layers of emotions you have. For example:

Say your character is in love with their co-worker, but they are both going for the same promotion. Perhaps you have chosen the opposing emotions of competitiveness and selflessness for your MC. Your character is competitive by nature and wants, needs perhaps for a physical reason, this promotion. However, they are selfless by nature, and this is the person they love they are competing against. So, what to do? What other emotions hide in there? Let's look at these armies...


Infantry - fear of failure
Cavalry - desire to prove oneself
Artillery -  sense of self-worth


Infantry -feeling like a good person
Cavalry - approval
Artillery - battling against the bad parts of their nature and trying to outdo them

Okay, so this is a simple example, but hopefully it will show that when you think of your MC's internal battleground, you can go past the basic conflict, and really dig in and find lots of layers to really bring your internal battlefield to life.

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