Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part VI

Do you reflect on how you’ve gotten to where you are? I do. Our characters should. That’s the “mirror moment.” When they “literally” take a look at themselves and try to figure out what happened. How did they get here? Decisions they made have now brought them to a low point in their story. They’re ready for their “mirror moment.” Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

Things have gone from bad to worse. Your protagonist is smack dab in the middle of things and they’re very uncomfortable. They pause a moment, maybe literally look at themselves in the mirror and think, “How did I end up here? What can I do about it?”

I’ve been using my WIP (work in progress) for these exercises, “Rose’s Redemption.” It’s set in 1871 Kansas. Rose Rhodes (aka Rosalie ‘Rosie’ O’Roarke) has changed her appearance on the outside. What she hasn’t figured out yet, is that it’s not enough to change her profession (she’s left the life of a dance hall girl) and alter her appearance (her dress, no make-up, modest clothing).

In Rose’s “mirror moment,” she’s going to be asking herself a bunch of questions. This is taken from a short exercise during a day-long session with James Scott Bell, who wrote Writing Your Story from the Middle.

Here’s what Rose is thinking.

Who am I, really? I’ve got to face it. I’m stronger than I think. Maybe Scott is falling in love with me. I hope so.

I can face Jake. I can face the town. But I can’t do it myself. Maybe what Meghan says is true. Maybe I do need to forgive Mother. Maybe I do need to believe God can help me.

How this will all play out and when exactly it will happen, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve written that far yet. But these exercises are great in planning your story.

I’m about half plotter/half pantser. I have to know where my story is going, but how it actually gets there (from one major plot point to the next) is the fun “pantser” part.

The character’s inner thoughts can be expressed in a mirror moment. How did my life come to this? What will I do now? Who am I, really? Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

Have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror lately? What do you see? Leave a comment and let me know.

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