Friday, July 16, 2010

The MC growth spurt


Has your MC grown lately?

I'm not talking about wastelines, or height. Unless of course, that's an essential part of your plot!

No, I'm talking about Oprah-style internal growth.

Become less selfish? Braver? Learned to see their own self-worth?

I try to have my MC change for the better in some ways between page one and The End. In each story, it's a little different, but it happens.

When you sprinkle some Miracle-(character)-Grow on your MC, what's happened to them?

42 comments:

Liza said...

My character is learning to open up and become a part of the world.

Vicki Rocho said...

They're still in the murky middle stages where the growth is in progress (I hope, we'll have to wait for the finished product to confirm)

Justine Dell said...

I don't have any new MC's. Just finished my wip. The miracle grow I sprinkled on that character worked pretty well. She went from OCD with anger issues, to full on sweetie pie. It only took 94K! LoL

~JD

Candyland said...

I'd like to think my character has become stronger and more independent-her OWN hero:)

Janet Johnson said...

That's my favorite part of writing . . . seeing how my characters grow. Then I can pretend it's really me. ;)

Erinn said...

My character's are constantly growing. Whenever I write a new scene they change a little bit. It's like over the years they've matured and changed into characters I'd actually like to meet in real life.

Alesa Warcan said...

I suspect that, were I to sprinkle Miracle-(character)-Grow on most of my MCs, they would come after me demanding justice for the hard time I put them through. And so, I avoid using the stuff.
Joking set aside, in many kinds of stories growth is essential for the story's momentum, but there are a number of cases were it isn't necessary. For instance Detective stories... The hard boiled cop has to fall for the wrong kind of woman every time... Hercule Poirot doesn't really have any room for growth, he is just let out to exercise his gray cells for each mystery...

Abby said...

I love the little sketch! I love books where the character grows for the better... can't stand books where the character doesn't need to grow (Mary sue?) or just remains dumb and selfish throughout the book.

Rachna Chhabria said...

My character has shed his shyness, inferiority complex and gained a sense of self worth. Character growth is something I am paying attention to.
The sketch is very cute.

aspiring_x said...

MC has grown from being timid, insecure, and passive to finding strength within herself to stand up against forces of evil. :)

Indigo said...

My MC went from suffering tremendous loss, to defiant anger, strength, to the point of almost losing herself again - before finding a way to save the most important parts of herself. Kind of a roller coaster, keep your hands inside twist. (Hugs)Indigo

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL That's all I've done this week! Grow her from a selfish woman to a person the reader can sympathize with (my post exposes it all) So yes, she has surely grown--I only hope enuf!

Joanne said...

Yes, my mc has grown. Lots of that growth comes purely through living life, and learning from that journey. Life is the best teacher, after all!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Since my fictional novels are all inspirational in nature, my main characters always experience growth. (And always for the better, because it wouldn't be very inspirational of they didn't!)

Matthew Rush said...

When I wrote my first draft in 3rd Person it was hard to see the growth, even though I knew it was there underneath. Now that I am re-writing into 1st Person, it's easier to see what a sarcastic little sh!+ my MC was at first - which helps.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hmmm, I have to say my MC is fiercely independent and learns she has to sometimes be part of the whole.

Nicole Murray said...

This is a favorite subject of mine. Maybe its the Mental Health worker in me, but I love "growing" characters. I think its those moments of growth or the fall out from a characters growth that captures so many of us as readers. We want the character to be the character but we want to see that character grow. It gives us hope for ourselves or others, maybe?

My MC Wyatt needs to see himself as a good person and his personal happiness as non-expendable. He is stubborn, so it should be fun.

And I have something for you on my blog dear! ;-D

Carol Kilgore said...

I aim for Oprah-style growth, too. Some characters grow like weeds. Others need lots of fertilizer and TLC. Have a great weekend.

WritingNut said...

My character is slowly learning that it's okay to be different and as much as she wants to fit, she is accepting that what sets her apart makes her unique :)

Taryn Tyler said...

I love that sketch!

Miracle grow is a good way to get around the too-nice-to-be-believable vs. too-horid-to-be-likeable delima. :) and gives you lots of time to explore the vulnerabilites and strengths which make the characters human.

Sarah Enni said...

I think my MC became more independent and accepting of the people in her life.

Theresa Milstein said...

My character, Eve gets braver, and faces a number of fears. She also gets a more realistic view of what love and attraction are.

My character, Aura learns to let people in and deal with emotions she's suppressed. She also needs to learn not to repeat her father's mistakes.

I like your stick figure!

Jemi Fraser said...

My 2 MCs learn to trust. The female learns to be braver and take risks. The male learns to slow down a bit.

Jolene said...

One of the best parts of being a writer is watching your MC grow. If you're not looking at a piece of someone life who's changing, what are you writing about?

Clara said...

My character is learning not to be affraid of her abilities. But everytime she dares, she creates a natural disaster.
That will show her, lol!

Her growth is that she doesnt give up, which shows how strong she is, I guess =)

MT said...

Oprah-style internal growth, that's a good one. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes we get writing and forget the important details like this when we get caught up in our story.
Have a great weekend!

JEM said...

I've been working on fleshing out my two MCs in revision, to give them a more well-rounded personality. It's so weird to BE a person and yet have difficulty WRITING a person. Siiiigh.

Krispy said...

Character growth is one of the most important parts of the story, maybe even THE most important. :)

One of mine is learning to be less selfish and more human. Another is learning his self-worth, and another will hopefully learn to let go.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

My MC realizes that to save the world he'll have to say good-bye to the girl he loves and jump into the unknown.

Oh wow, I never just said it like that. How sad. I'm a very mean writer. :/

lbdiamond said...

My MC is learning that the underdog is stronger than the overlord. (Um, he's the underdog.) ;)

lbdiamond said...

My MC is learning that the underdog is stronger than the overlord. (Um, he's the underdog.) ;)

Dawn Simon said...

Mine is in the process of growing--she's not quite there yet.

Have a great weekend!

Heather said...

Sprinkle Miracle Grow, love that! My MC has definitely been going through a lot of internal growth lately. That's part of the writing that I love the most. Seeing them change with each experience is the best!

Karen Lange said...

I like that, Miracle Gro for your MC! I need to go and apply some of that to mine!
Happy weekend,
Karen :)

littlemissjuicy said...

Um, despite my rant about self-help websites, I am sort of trying out this "life instruction manual" thing I read on Oprah's website. Let's see how it turns out. :S
Oh, and obviously, your links remain as great friends to me. I haven't really touched any of it though. I guess I am trying to.. not give in to the finality of it all by reading someone else's methods of moving on. :s I don't know. But I know I'll need those blog posts of yours-I just don't know when. And till then, till I figure out that I am ready to move on, I would once again want to tell you just how very much has having such essays/blog posts helped! Thank you a dozen times over!

Rachele Alpine said...

Oh, I love this idea of having your MC grow! The growth chart is so cute! I'm a lot better at making my MC grow now. In the first book I wrote, my agents number one critique was that I needed to make my MC more proactive...that called for a lot of growing, but now I think I'm a lot better at it!

Ed Pilolla said...

you have a magic blog here. it's fun! in just a few words, you get me revved up about my characters. among other attributes, you seem to really have a fundamental understanding of some technical aspects of writing.

if character a becomes different at the end of the story, how does that happen? for me, the character has to, on some displayed fundamental level, want to change. only then can it happen. if he or she wants to change, or wants something out of life, then he or she is willing to get into situations and conflicts that allow for that growth, seems to me.

Lindsey Edwards said...

Internal growth is important, a good external conflict can help move this along at a reasonable pace (a good thing since we oft only have a couple hundred pages in which to make that all happen). I like to always keep in mind how my character grows after each scene.

Susan Fields said...

My character can finally open up about her romantic feelings for her male best friend (and him for her). That was a fun scene to write!

Dawn Simon said...

I came back to let you know there's an award for you at my blog. :)

Mohamed Mughal said...

Mine got killed by thugs in Baghdad.

Margo Berendsen said...

Where can I buy some of that Miracle Character Grow? Oh, and how about Miracle Writer Motivation Grow????

 
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