Character Path: #Preptober, Day 14

Happy Birthday to me! Yep, today’s my big day, and I’m using it to keep on prepping away. I’m also doing a little giveaway to celebrate, so if you’d like a free copy of my book, NaNoWriMo: A Cheater’s Guide, just click here and use coupon code BQ85L.

But back to Preptober!

Today is all about your MC’s current path. What on earth do I mean by that?

Yesterday we talked about backstory, which is your character’s past. Today is about the present. Where is your character, in space and time? Where are they mentally and emotionally, as well as physically? What do they think they’re about to do when they wake up this morning – and does the universe have other plans for them?

Just as with real human beings, staying in the present is a difficult task. Characters tend to think they’re on a certain path, whether that’s a kid going to school or an adult just heading off to another boring day at work. But then, naturally, life – or, in this case, your story – intervenes. What started off as just another day suddenly becomes… interesting.

But first, we need to know what your character considers normal, and what they do every day. You can’t shake things up unless you know what will shock them, after all.

So think about what your character normally does at work or school, who they normally hang out with, what their daily activities look like. Think about some of their backstory, to get a feel for what they figure their current path is.

For example, a kid might be thinking about becoming an astronaut, thus they love science and math class at school, and maybe they’re even a member of an after-school science club. They’re on a path to become an astronaut, and are devoting most of their energy to achieving this goal.

Similarly, an adult might want to achieve a goal – maybe something as small as asking someone else out on a date. Perhaps they’ve been running through good conversation starters all day at work, even zoning out in an important meeting. They’re on a path to ask that person out as soon as 5 o’clock rolls around. But then…

With my ninja-in-training, she thinks she’s on a path to become a bonafide ninja. But what if something happened, and she wasn’t able to complete her mission? What if something happened to her parents, who are training her?

What if…? is always a good question to ask, if you’re stuck.

Tell us a little bit about your character’s current path. Where do THEY think they’re going, and what do YOU have in store for them instead?

Want to prep with me?

Fill in the same info for one of YOUR main characters, post it on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober on social media so we can find each other.

Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use.

See you tomorrow with a new prompt!

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