Reply To: BIG MONSTER ASSIGNMENT ABOUT PLOT AND EMOTION STRUCTURE

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#48619
alicia.rasley
Participant
In addition to the romance, which to some extent intersects with the external plots, my hero has his external goal and heroine has hers.  He is actively involved in preventing her from achieving hers (escaping from his family’s home where he’s acting as her guard) and she is opposed, but not actively trying to prevent his (pleasing his father by marrying the woman who had been his brother’s fiancee). Should analyze their separate goals separately.  Should I deal with their emotions about their conflicts related to the separate external goals?

Hi, Ruchama! Good question. First, consider that you have actually identified their conflicts interfering with the other character’s goal!

So let’s focus on the prime goal for each:

Her- escaping from this captivity

Him- marrying  to please his father

If he’s her “jailer,” then he has a subsidiary goal of keeping her captive, but as you say, she doesn’t really have a goal of interfering with his goal (which is fine– obviously “escaping” is a big enough goal for her).

The goals don’t have to intersect too much-that is, they don’t both have to have the goal of defeating the other’s goal, as they aren’t really competitors as they’d be if, maybe, they were both in search of the same treasure.

So I think it might be better to focus on them as individuals if you want to find the emotion here. Why does she want to escape? What does being captive make her feel?

And for him, what is the emotion that powers his need to please his father? And what is the resultant emotion that comes from that?

 

I think maybe the intersection, if there is one, is what his being her captor has to do with his own life. Like is he doing it also to please his father? Is there some financial or other gain for him or the family to keep her from escaping? He probably needs a good motivation for this because it is something the reader might “disapprove of”… and it’s also good to think of the emotion that is caused in him when he does something that he probably would disapprove of also.

Anyway, her goal is more simple and understandable–we’d all want to escape captivity– so you won’t have to set up her motivation very much. (When/if she starts to change and want to stay, then you might have to explain more. 🙂

His goal is more emotionally complex, because – if he’s not in love with the fiancee– his motivation isn’t the simple one we’d immediately understand. So you might focus on the emotion ORIGIN of his goal– why he wants this– and the emotion RESULTS for her of her goal– what it feels to encounter so many obstacles to getting free.

I don’t know if that’s any help, but at this point, you might think about their goals separately.

 

 

 

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