POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
Eyes On the Prize
By Nandy Ekle
Your main character is the most important person in the story. Your readers immediately love him for good reason. He’s just a normal guy try to better himself in some way. Basically, he’s exactly like the person who’s reading your story, and that’s why they love him so much.
He’s average, he needs food, shelter, and love. And he will do anything in the world to get those needs met. Every action he takes, every word he speaks lead toward this goal. And, since those are the basic needs of every person who has ever lived, your readers are involved from the first word.
Now, there is a nemesis who, for whatever reason, wants to keep one, two, or even all three of these needs from your main character. This nemesis could be another person, a government, a circumstance, a situation, or mother nature. He could even be against himself.
But our readers want our character’s needs to be met. Remember, the reader loves the person in our story and their heart will be broken if the story ends without so much as a slight struggle. And our character has a strong will to have those needs met, which makes him that much more lovable to our readers.
So we much have struggle. The character is willing to give up nearly anything to get those needs met. In fact, he has to go so far as to give up his life to attain his goal. And this is when he becomes a hero to the reader. Even he doesn’t actually every receive his prize, the fact that he makes the sacrifice to get within arms reach will make the reader love him even more.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.
I tried having my heroine back away from her challenge and my critique group soundly chastised me. Lesson learned.