Friday, January 14, 2011

Get a Little Backbone, eh?

When he walks he casts a shadow of purpose.
~Terri Guillemets

I was recently thinking about the plot of my story and found myself getting more muddled by the moment. Then I found John Truby's advice in The Anatomy of a Story.

Truby is a screenwriter, director, and teacher. Here's his advice on the backbone of your story, the thing that drives your protagonist forward, makes the reader care, and gives your story a reason to be:


  1. Susan, thanks for posting this! It got me really thinking hard about my MC and her "desire line" in my WIP ... it's there, for sure, but now I've thought of a whole lot of places where it could be made stronger, clearer ...
    Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing this Susan! I guess the fact that I'm scared to think of these things sometimes - like what's Rosa's main goal/desire - means I definitely need to dig deeper as I rewrite.

  3. Rachel, I have to rethink my MC's desire line too and make sure it's strong throughout. I think my confusion comes with the subplot and how to deal with that.

  4. Deniz, glad to give you a nudge. What IS Rosa's desire line?

  5. It just sounds too easy to say she wants her identity back... at first she thinks she'll get it by reuniting with her family. But by the end she's fighting her family to keep her love [g]