Why Do People Read Fiction?
One reason people read fiction is to escape and experience the world through the thoughts and actions of the characters in the story.
We believe characters are your story. They act and react. They create emotion. They show motivation. Without any of this, you don’t have a story. That’s a tall order for your characters.
So how do you make sure you’re putting the most into your characters? You edit and rewrite until your characters are performing at their best. A little bit of organization will help you quickly complete these revisions.
Characters And Story Structure
You’ve finished your first draft, so most likely you know who your characters are, what they look like, and so on. You should also know if you are writing from a single Point Of View (POV) or multiple points of view. In essence, you know who is telling your story.
But what about how your characters fit into your story structure?
When thinking about the characters in each scene, ask yourself:
- Who is in the scene and who is just mentioned?
- Who is the POV character for the scene?
- What is the POV character’s goal for the scene?
Who Is In The Scene?
In Fictionary, you can visualize who is in each scene and who is mentioned. Seeing your character names will help you decide if you’ve chosen the best POV character for the scene.
Here is an example of how to answer these 3 questions using my novel DESCENT. The characters in the scene are shown above. The point of view character is Kalin Thompson (she’s also the protagonist), and her goal is to search the ski-tuning room.
Evaluate each scene to ensure the reader will understand the answers to the 3 questions. You can show, tell, or imply the answers. It’s up to you to find the right balance. The more important the event, the more you should show the reader what’s happening. The less important events can be told quickly, so the reader can move on to the good stuff.
Balance The Point Of View Characters
To help you visualize the balance of your POV characters, Fictionary shows you how many POV scenes each character has, the order they have the POV, and the percentage of POV scenes compared to other characters.
Below you can see Kalin Thompson has the most POV scenes (good because she’s the protagonist), Ben has the next (also good because he is her love interest) and so on. The initials on the bottom show you the order. The green means a character has had 3 scenes in a row where he/she is the POV character.
Do You Need More Out Of Your Characters?
Here is a sneak peek at the Advanced level of Fictionary. The advanced mode meant for the writer who wants to delve deep into each scene.
What Writers Are Saying About Fictionary!
“Revising my second novel was a formidable job. I’d spent years studying novel writing while polishing my first manuscript. I dreaded the overwhelming task of wrestling 80,000 words into coherent shape again.
Fictionary was a huge time-saver and allowed me to geek out on the charts and statistics about my book. I loved the ability to identify plot holes, label the beginnings and endings of each chapter, and view character details. Completely online and mobile, I didn’t need to tote around a marked-up manuscript covered in sticky notes to work on revisions. The author tips are a helpful guide because I’m still learning my way around the world of fiction writing. Fictionary allowed me to visualize the story structure of my draft before I made changes. I’m excited to rewrite!” Kelly Brakenhoff
Fictionary is online software that simplifies story editing. Fictionary will help you address each area listed above. You’ll be able to focus on problem areas in your manuscript and improve it quickly.
Why not check out Fictionary’s free 14-day trial and tell better stories?
Need some personal help to go along with Fictionary? With the $600 Annual Plus plan, you get a $200 annual Fictionary subscription and a 20,000-word story evaluation for $400 ($0.02/word).
You’ll also get advice from Kristina Stanley (me), creator of Fictionary, bestselling author and editor, on how to work through the rest of your manuscript within Fictionary. You’ll learn all you need to know to tell better stories.
Sign up for the Annual Plan and let us know you’d like the Annual Plus program. We’ll get you set up.