Protagonists need a goal, a mountain to cross

Protagonists need a goal, a mountain to cross.

(KL) We’re biologically designed to be egocentric. Thus survival is not a problem, it’s a given. It’s also why this conversation makes my left eye twitch:
KL: So what is your protagonist’s goal?
Writer: To survive.
KL: *face palm*

Here’s the deal. We ALL have a goal to survive. If, at the end of the day, I am not dead, I consider that a pretty good day. My genetic desire to survive is why I don’t take electrics in the bath, take up bear-baiting, or see how far I can drive backwards on a highway at 75mph. Survival isn’t interesting. Whatever threatens survival? That’s what’s interesting.

What did your character want before this event?
How is that threatened?
How will defeating the mountain get him closer to his goals?
How will being defeated by the mountain affect him?

Luke Skywalker did not have a goal of ‘survive this’, his goal was racing cars when not working on a farm. He had a far away dream of leaving his mudball and fighting for the ‘good guys’ – absolute fantasy – until his dad came looking for his sister’s droids…

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How much is too much mood-surfing?

If it took me 30 days to recover from two weeks of depression, what does it take to recover from a massive manic and psychotic episode?
It can take a year for some people. No one wants to hear this, but I believe we need to be honest with ourselves in order to survive bipolar disorder.
I recently banged through: 2014 Dad dies before Christmas, 2015 Moved to TX (late that year, recovering from it all), 2016 Hail destroys the house (six months later I’m getting back on track work/book 8600 new words), AND then 2017 Mom gets sick (and I add another anti-d), announces cancer at thanksgiving (still has a dramatic flair), gets all Kevorkian (did not need all that imagery), then cancer/starvation downhill quickly into 2018…
Not much left to do about anything but a purge of old, a completion of getting things back in order; a quick clean up and prepare for Lent – how? I’m not sure. People are handling the estate stuff and I worry.
Current mood is hypomanic (moderately ‘happier’), fighting off depression, oscillating between being pissed at something or happy about something. Worrying about the chasm of crappy emotion that splashes up a bit still as it settles.
Patience doesn’t come naturally for me. I tend to put myself down for not being able to work much these last few years, but man-oh-man, this is a darn serious illness. It’s stunning how something as simple as forcing myself up at an early hour leads to better overall “purposefulness” (persistence of willpower) to  the day…
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Put some of it on the shelf

Sometimes talk-therapy can cause you and me to over think everything. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking about some things and move on.

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Stop thinking too much

Stop thinking too much.

It’s all right not to know all the answers. Sometimes there is no answer, not going to be any answer, and there never has been an answer. That’s the answer! Just accept it, move on. Next!

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Your life isn’t comparable

Don’t compare your life with others’ you have no idea what their journey is about. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw the others, we would grab ours back as fast as we could.

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You are responsible for your own happiness

No one is the reason for your own happiness, except you yourself. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.

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What others think

What others think of you is none of your business. It is how much you value yourself and how important you think you are.

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Make peace with your past

Make peace with your past so it does not spoil your present. Your past does not define your future— your actions and beliefs do.

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Swords in SciFi

I have never understood the need for SciFi to have:

  • Swords – we don’t use them these days, why would we suddenly start?
  • Revolvers – with blasters and swords, why is there a need for a firearm that requires oxygen?
  • Magic – force, farce – if the plot needs it – taa daaa. We temporarily make our MC a god and then quickly demote him…

I really feel strongly that we can write SciFi, that is – Science Fiction, which will be compelling without resorting to writing a fantasy or western novel. Clarke’s work had no swords, no gods, no guns. His violence was passive – Dave will die if the door stays closed. Seals and filters and constant repair is what really happens. Endless cycles of repair, grease, action, repair.

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Character names as they ‘mature’

I find character names seem to mature, ripen or even evolve as I get a story happening… Gu’un (Goo-en), Becca (Bek-ah), Rus (Rustt), Jian (Jee-on), Liam (Lee-am), JJ (Jay Jay Jeremathy)

  1. (Gu’un) Bad Guy Gun Goons – control freak – Blind To Every Eye He Meets
  2. Good Guy of three minds about everything
    1. (5) (Jian/Teller2) Evil by nature – thinks he’s the hero – He’s A Juke Box Hero With Stars In His Eyes
    2. (4) (Liam/JJ) Evil by error – secretly afraid to succeed emotional – Black Is All I Feel, So This Is How It Feels To Be Free
    3. (1) (Rus) Love by default – afraid to feel/unreal – Promises In The Dark
  3. Rebecca – Gurl Of His Dreams – Beta – Bett – You Better You Better You Bet You Better Bet Your Life

 

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