It’s Saturday morning as I sit down to do even more planning for my NaNoWriMo novel.

Last night I mapped an eight point plot from start to finish, a broad step-by-step synopsis of what happens across the planned story that takes our protagonist from the first introductory glimpse to changed, three dimensional character that I hope any reader will empathize with as they turn the last page.

Mapping that plot provided me with the obvious next steps of my planning, and thankfully one that I had clued into as I put together the building blocks of that plot a’la yesterday’s blog entry.

Characters

The cast of this story is something that I want to keep tight and focused, but plotting out the key points of my story circle I’ve already identified at least six major players that need to be fleshed out with some depth to drive this thing to completion.

Right now, those are: a protagonist, a sidekick, a family member, a mentor, a friendly antangonist, and a villain.

The protagonist is the main character, and obviously the focus of the story.

The sidekick is a foil, a person who represents a lot of things, but will for the sake of this story be a symbol of the protagonist prior to his change and growth. She will not be changed by the story, though she will have a significant role as a catalyst of the inciting incident.

The family member is a moral grounding point for the protagonist, in a blood is thicker than water sort of way. As opportunities and threats are presented to the protagonist, those choices will hinge on outcomes that impact this person.

The mentor is the agent of change, a character who brings wisdom and experience and perspective even if that is not intentional on her part.

The friendly antagonist is a character that does not wish our protagonist harm so much as he acts as an indifferent barrier to the needs of our hero. He has differnt goals, plans, and ideas, and he must be assertively convinced through the actions of the main character as part of the climactic build.

The villain does wish harm upon our protagonist. This is an individual in an otherwise faceless group who seeks to keep the protagonist in his place, and failing that expell the protagonist as a disruptive force to keep others in their place.

I assume there will be a number of other passing characters, single-dimensional bit parts, to deal with, too. As a starting point my next goal (as I build out the plot for the next few days) is to compose a write-up for each of these six players and insert them into the story blocks that I’ve begun to plan out.

By the end of the day, I should have a strong sense of the broad story and a map of who is part of it.

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