Share your project here! (Character - First Session)

Share your thoughts / questions / answers from my first session here. If you have questions about the approach, ask away! There are a lot of experts in this community that can explain it really well.

Here is the prompt by the way:

  • At the start of the session, I asked you about a book you imagined yourself reading. What kind of book was it – what sort of story, in one sentence, was it)? (Alternatively, you could describe the genre / premise / big idea of book you’re actually writing. Keep it simple!)
    A Gentleman in Moscow

  • Okay – to start – in just one sentence: before the novel begins, who could your protagonist be? Who could be someone who encounters the story you described above: “A Gentleman in Moscow”? If all you have is a name, that’s fine.

  • Fantastic. What are some aspects of that protagonist’s real life that they feel regret about, or yearning for, or which they just wish were better?
    to solidify their position in society / a new school

  • Great: now pick ONE of those possibilities, and imagine that, just before the novel’s starting point, the character has been given either an opportunity to make real progress on that goal – or that a sudden threat to that desire has appeared. Describe that opportunity or threat below:
    opportunity - display old talents to hunt down a terrorist

  • What might be the first step or practical action – some concrete attempt to make things better – that the protagonist could be taking on this “project” when we meet him or her? (In other words, they are already in motion when we meet them.)
    setting up his sniper rifle

  • Great. Now you’ve got your project sketched out. One more thing. Ideally, a project is happening AT THE SAME TIME as the “real” plot of the novel. While the character is going about their project, what might be one clue / hint / event that hints to the reader that MORE is going on in this novel than just the protagonist’s project?
    this isn’t what he signed up for, he’s the newest detective in major crimes unit

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Thank you for sharing! What did you think of the prompt? Did it uncover anything new about your project?

The prompt helped me discover that this opening scene was a great setup. I’d been considering not using it. And now, it’s solidly in the story. And, because of this opening, he has a hero reputation.
I woke up this morning with a line of dialogue in my head for later when the character is working major crimes. “You can’t come here like some shiny ruffian and make it all better. This town takes care of itself.”


What is the ABC that folks kept referring to? (Related to hidden/true plot? Or ordinary world establishment?)


That was reference to Daniel’s course Plotting and Planning Your Novel.
Simply put:

•The A plot is a goal your main character is already working towards when the story begins.

•The B plot is the character’s demon, or emotional wound that resurfaces during the story

•And the C plot is the actual plot, the true plot, what’s outlined on the back cover.

Daniel could explain it a lot better, but I hope this helps for now ^^


Perfect explanation!


Thank you so much! It was really freaking me out how people kept saying DEMON DEMON :sweat_smile:


No worries ^^ Aha yeah I don’t blame you :joy:

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