Saturday, November 10, 2012

Writing Exercise #4: Conflicting Internal Feelings

We're continuing our weekly critique group writing exercises, posting them here for you guys to join in!

This week's exercise comes from Donald Maass' Writing 21st Century Fiction, and it's all about adding conflicting internal feelings, which can add delicious amounts of depth to a scene.

The couple that epitomizes conflicting emotions.
Pick a moment in your manuscript and look at what your MC is feeling. Write down a contrasting or conflicting feeling that is also true in that moment. Add this opposing feeling to the scene.

What does your MC most want? What is the opposite of that? When and how can your protagonist want both of those things?

Pick another moment in the manuscript to show when your MC wants the opposite of what they normally want. What does your MC to achieve this? Can you add this opposite desire to two more scenes?

What is the moment when your MC rejects what they most want in the world? How does your MC throw the opportunity or desire away (in a way that is final, they cannot change their mind).
Ok, so maybe this baby's conflicted emotions are
more external than internal, but...

Want more from Donald Maass? Pick up Writing 21st Century Fiction (Writer's Digest Books, Sept. 2012) today, and check out this sneak peek from Writer's Digest!

Previous exercises:
Exercise one - Character Profile
Exercise two - Character Theme Song
Exercise three - Character Bedroom

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