Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
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~ Step 112 ~

Characters - Act One Middle

It takes a while to fully introduce a cast of characters in all the ways we've explored.  So, there are some characters, roles and relationships that will come forth in the middle and end of the first act.

Readers don't want or need to know everything about your characters right up front.  They want to learn about them - to get to know them and their situations.

Sometimes this process involves discovering more about the characters, and other times it involves changing one's opinion or impression of a character, based on additional information.

So, you may wish to enhance the introductions your have just developed for the beginning of act one.  For example, if you have introduced a character as your protagonist, you may wish to deepen the audience understanding of just how driven this character is to achieve the goal.

To do this, you could write an additional scenario that stands by itself, or you could create second pass at introducing the protagonist and use it as a launching pad to introduce the antagonist.

So, in this hypothetical, when the protagonist reasserts his or her motivation, the antagonist might be seen in action for the very first time by jumping in to contradict the protagonist.  And this, in turn, might serve as introduction of the structural relationship between the two, and any number of other character attributes.

In this step, then, refer to both your introductions for act one and the selections you made for the beginning of act one and pull together the characters, roles, and relationships you wish to divulge next, in the middle of the first act.