By: Linda S. Clare
Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at each of these problems and offer some fixes.
THE WILSON PRINCIPLE
When you introduce your protagonist or main character, it’s tempting to put her onstage by herself. After all, you want readers to know and develop sympathy for this character and as soon as possible. Yet without any interaction with another character, your hero or heroine is handicapped. Unless you can justify a character who talks to herself, readers are trapped inside the character’s head with the thoughts (and often, memories) that character is dying to relate.
The Wilson Principle simply says it will be easier for your character to relate to the readers if he interacts with another character. When two or more are onstage, dialogue, conflict and action are much more likely to occur. That’s why Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “Cast Away” had the volleyball named “Wilson” to talk to while he was shipwrecked on a deserted island. Put another character onstage with your protagonist as soon as it’s practical to do so.
DRIVING TO THE STORY
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