Before I get into my next A to Z post, I want to give a HUGE shout out to my girl, my favorite CP, my writing soulmate, Lisa Regan, who just signed her very own BOOK DEAL with Sapphire Star Publishing!
Yes, Lisa is joining my ever expanding family at SSP. Her first book, Finding Claire Fletcher will be released on December 6, 2012, and her second book, Aberration will released on June 6, 2013. Both books, in the suspense/crime genre, are phenomenal reads! I will post more about Lisa's remarkable journey after the A to Z Challenge is over. In the mean time, please drop by Lisa's and give her a big hello and a pat on the shoulder. She's waited for this moment for many years!
Now for the A to Z...
Welcome to Day 9 of the A to Z Challenge
Many bloggers have chosen a theme for the A to Z. My pledge since becoming a blogger is to post about writing, so for this event, I will being posting about what I've learned about writing a novel.
I is for Inner: Situated or farther within; interior; more intimate, private, or secret; of or pertaining to the mind or spirit; not obvious; hidden or obscured. (Dictionary.com)
This might seem like an ambiguous topic, but when it comes to creating a story, “inner” is of extreme importance. First, there are two levels to every novel: the outer level or the plot and the inner level or the story itself. For every outer action, motion, or goal, there is an inner reaction, emotion, and growth. The outer notion to attain works with the inner notion to become.
The protagonist’s inner journey deepens when the reader learns who he needs to be in order to be whole and why that is important. Why is he broken or wounded and how does that manifest itself in his behavior and attitude? What will lead him to be whole again, to force him to change, or lead him to sacrifice?
Each major scene in a novel should have turning points with two dimensions. The way in which things change that everyone understands is the outer turning point. And the way in which the protagonist changes is the inner turning point.
A story’s greatest inner dimension is the inner conflict. This is the protagonist’s fear and doubt brought to the surface, a battle between his two sides: reason and passion. These two voices directly oppose each other. He brings them with him into the story before it even begins. It’s what’s holding him back. It is this very contradictory battle that is so compelling and satisfying to the reader.
Inner conflict is a result of the plot. It’s what leads the protagonist to realize his goal is essential to his well-being. It’s what makes him strive to attain his impossible goal. Each obstacle he overcomes provides the protagonist the opportunity to learn more about himself. In knowing his weaknesses and strengths, he is better able to transform himself.
Though my own novel is a thriller and therefore plot-driven, it is the main character’s struggle with the villain he has become that is the most compelling.
Do you focus equally on both the inner and outer aspects of your stories?