Plotting 4 Pantsers — Part VII
External character struggles revolve around character survival or solving a large problem. How will that problem be solved? That’s what the reader wants to know. #Plotting4Pantsers #ExternalCharacterStruggles #MeghansChoice @donnalhsmith @a3writers TWEETABLE
The characters will always try to figure out their problems by themselves. It’s human nature, and that’s we do. This is why an internal struggle associated with an external struggle, is important.
An external struggle may often exacerbate an internal struggle. The protagonist has unmet internal or interpersonal desires. This is important to establish—an emotional connection with these struggles. Readers without this emotional connection will quickly get bored.
In my novel, Meghan’s Choice, the two main characters, Meghan and Duncan both have internal struggles to deal with.
For Meghan, she’s been given an ultimatum by her father to work for a year before marriage. Let’s look at it.
“Meghan, I’m at a loss to know what to do. You’ve been out of school a year, and haven’t sown the least bit of interest in taking charge of this household. If it weren’t for Belle and me … well …” he sighed. “You’re not a child, yet you still exhibit childish ways.”
As the scene progresses, we learn that Meghan’s “almost” fiancé broke up with her the night before this ultimatum is given.
She detested feeling weak, wanting to appear strong and mature. Everything he said she was not.
Duncan, the cowboy, meets Meghan once she moves to Kansas. He becomes one of Meghan’s suitors. What’s in his past he won’t talk about that’s had him drifting around the country seeking something? Will he find what he’s looking for? Here’s a clue.
They were inseparable. Davy always followed him around They were only two years apart. Best friends, until that summer. He felt the weight of being a big brother. Most of the time he like it find, but that pretty brunette down the road apiece shook her curls at him when he passed by. She also made it abundantly clear she didn’t want his “little brother” tagging along if he wanted to be in her company.
External struggles often have internal origins. An emotional connection with the characters’ struggles, keeps the reader turning pages. #Plotting4Pantsers #ExternalCharacterStruggles #MeghansChoice @donnalhsmith @a3writers TWEETABLE