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31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 8

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31-Days-of-NaNoPrepMo-by-Katrina-OstranderDay 8: What does your protagonist hate most and why?

Your Protagonist. You’ve figured out what your protagonist wants, but consider also the flipside:

  • What don’t they want? What do they hate with every fiber of their being?
  • Why? What made them feel that way?
  • What form does that hatred take on a day-to-day basis? Does it make the protagonist change how they act?
  • What would have to happen for them to change how they feel about the thing they hate?
  • How will their hatred show up in the story, and what will the protagonist react to it?
  • Is this something they will need to get past in order to grow enough to realize their goals?

All the answers to these questions are great seeds for scenes and will help you drive up the conflict and tension in your story.

Action Plan: Brainstorm a list of things your character strongly dislikes or doesn’t want to have happen. These can be people, places, things, or even abstract ideas. These should help you design the obstacles the protagonist faces during their pursuit of their goal. The threat of these things happening—or the fact that they do happen—can be dramatized into scenes in which your protagonist is forced to react. Write down your answers to the above questions as well; these will begin to form a potential emotional development arc for your protagonist.

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