“I’m plotting against you.”
On Facebook, a friend of mine shared an image of those words. I feel it’s so appropriate to lead in with this because as a writer you need to always be plotting against the main characters.
I understand it’s hard when you love your main characters so much. They are a part of you and there’s a desire within yourself to be this character. If there isn’t, then why are you writing about this character?
But you always have to ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen to my character at this point?” Even as you’re going back through editing your manuscript, you need to ask this question: is it the absolute worst thing that could happen? If your answer is no, then you need to push it harder.
This is when you get to the real meat of the story.
Don’t plan out how your character gets out of the position you push them into. Let them figure it out. This is when your character surprises you and thinks of the one thing you never saw coming. These are the moments when you laugh out loud because they are hitting you in the face with your own pie. This is when you will love your character more than you thought possible.
Then you throw them back down into the pit lined with fiery coals again.
Don’t just let your main character win. Make them fight to win.