01/04/09 ~ What do you do when your MC won’t cooperate

Most anyone that reads these titles I likely to think we as writers can always control what our MC is doing. Lets assume that we have a bad guy as our MC. It’s their job to wreak havoc and make the rest of society pay the price, whatever that may be. And we get to a point where the bastard just will not cooperate, they just wont follow the plan we have laid out in our head.

What then?

Do we scrap the story? Most likely not. Do we wait for the MC to behave again, give them a couple days off, maybe.

Here are a couple suggestions to possible whip that poorly behaved MC back into shape.

Try stream of consciousness exercises. Pick the scene and dump out three pages on that one topic. This is best done straight out of bed. (Refer to Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way for more uses of this journaling process) You may be surprised by what is revealed to you about what your character wants.

Think about what you want the MC to be doing and conduct an interview, I blogged on that method last week. But in this usage you are trying to drive specific answers from your MC.

Take them out of the picture for a bit. Put them in a completely different world or situation for fun to see what happens to them. There may be lessons in there that you can use in other parts of your story, or it may unleash that one log jam you have developed with the brat you are working so hard to create.

And lastly, do an exercise of contrasts. Pick something that is the high of the high for the scene and dump your MC smack in the middle of the polar opposite, see how it goes. The changing of flow can sometimes be enough to kick start things again.

I hope this helps with a few possible solutions to poorly behaving characters.

Happy writing, better living to you all.

Robert E.



One Response to “01/04/09 ~ What do you do when your MC won’t cooperate”

  1. Keri Stevens Says:

    My MC/Hero is unhappy with me. Am afraid if I sit down to stream of consciousness he will seriously ream me out. Honestly, though? I kinda deserve it. Massive rewrites in two weeks.

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