children's writer

Flaws & Wants

Oct 1, 2012
I've been more than a little nervous for the past two days because my laptop has decided it doesn't want to boot. It has every novel I've written on it. So you see why I would be nervous. I've had to use my Kindle and the family computer to keep up to date. One of the things I've been doing is watching The Plot Whisperer videos on YouTube. Many of you have probably already seen her videos since they aren't new, but her tips have helped me plan my sixth novel.

Which, against my better judgement, I've already started writing. I figured I might as well since all of my other current novels are on my other computer. One of the most important things I've learned while watching her videos is that the main character must have a want and a flaw that might keep them from getting what they want. As a pantser sometimes I don't really know what my main character wants until the novel is complete.

Writing down a few lines about my main character helps me realize her want early on and also the want of her love interest. 


Do you guys know what your characters want while you're drafting?
8 comments on "Flaws & Wants"
  1. Yes, but the still end up surprising me. :D

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    1. Hey, Stina. I'm always a little surprised too by the end of a draft.

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  2. I back up my stuff in two ways, with iDrive for Mac, as well as Dropbox. (iDrive is every 24 hours; and Dropbox is when I remember). I crashed my laptop once and since then, I'm more careful!

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    1. Hey, Lydia. I usually email my novels to myself. I do have older versions but not the new ones.

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  3. Good question, Tracey. I usually have a general idea of what my MC wants when I start writing...

    Hope your laptop comes to life soon. I email my novels to myself as a backup also. ;)

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  4. I only know what my characters want to a certain degree. I try to let them figure parts of it out by themselves. Mostly that works for me, but sometimes I need help.

    Recently, I won a critique on the first fifty pages of my latest book and the girl critiquing pointed out some really unlikable characteristics that my MC has. I didn't see them because, in my head, I know my MC's motivations. Problem was, I didn't get them down on paper as well as I should've. So it's back to revisions. Again. I'm wondering if a really concise outline of the next book would help avoid those problems.

    Also, I know someone already mentioned this, but I always email my books to myself. That way I have them, no matter what. Good luck with your computer!!!

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  5. Wow! Yes, I can see why you would be nervous if your laptop isn't starting up! Good luck getting your novels back.

    Oh, and thanks for the recommendations for The Novel Whisperer. I've never seen any of her videos; I'll have to check them out.

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  6. you made me think about it! and what she wants isnt what i thought she wanted! thanks!

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