Before and After: Reveal Character

Here’s another creative writing prompt for your 750 words, a challenge to write 750 words each day to better Think Like a Writer. Read more here.

IN the on-going series of Thinking Like a Writer, everyone can recite the plot diagram of rising action which ends in a climax and denouement. But writers can’t just recite the particulars of a diagram; instead, we must create a plot that changes a character in some way.

One way to get at that change is to start by writing the Before and After character sections. Where is the character at the beginning of the story and how have they changed by the end.

For example, in the Before section of “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge is miserable and miserly in three ways: toward the poor, toward his nephew, toward his employee and his family. He meets three ghosts, which leads to the After section, where he is kind and generous in three ways: toward the poor, toward his nephew, toward his employee and his family.

You may have a character moving from shy to bold.
What scene, description, and/or character set-up will Show-Don’t-Tell that this character is shy? How can you contrast that with the After scene?

First, identify the character arc for your character.
Then write a Before and an After.

Start Your Novel

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Start Your Novel by Darcy Pattison
You want to write a novel, but you don’t know where to start. You have a great idea and–well, that’s all. This book explains the writing process of starting a novel in six winning steps.

Starting the Journey
Why Editors Focus on Page 1
STEP ONE: Clarify Your Idea
STEP TWO: Review Your Skills
STEP THREE: Plan the Opening Chapter
STEP FOUR: Plan the Opening Line
STEP FIVE: Now, Write!
STEP SIX: Revise

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